Santa Fe Institute Collaboration Platform

COMPLEX TIME: Adaptation, Aging, & Arrow of Time

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Dynamic Multi-System Resilience in Human Aging/Resilience and vulnerability in a stressed system: an example from the wards

From Complex Time

November 13, 2018
11:20 am - 12:00 pm


Heather Whitson (Duke Univ.)


This talk will begin with a narrative presentation of a real-world case, taken from Dr. Whitson’s clinical practice.  The case example is offered as a “springboard” to explore the value and limitations of a model whereby the hospitalized patient is conceptualized as a complex dynamical system under duress.  Considering the case through the lens of complexity science, we will discuss potential approaches to predict and promote physical resilience to health stressors.  How should our knowledge of complex systems inform medical decision-making and how do we translate what we know into practical clinical tools?  In the second half of the talk, Dr. Whitson will present conceptual frameworks to guide clinical research on the emerging construct of physical resilience to health stressors.  The talk will also introduce two test paradigms currently under study as potential predictors of physical resilience: stimulus-response tests, and complexity-based tests on physiological output data.

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