Call for Award Nominations
Feedback is a key element of regulation, as it shapes the sensitivity of a process to its environment. Positive feedback up-regulates, negative feedback down-regulates. Many regulatory processes involve a mixture of both, whether in nature or in engineering. This paper revisits the mixed feedback paradigm, with the aim of investigating control across scales. We propose that mixed feedback regulates excitability and that excitability plays a central role in multi-scale signalling. We analyse this role in a multi-scale network architecture inspired from neurophysiology. The nodal behavior defines a meso-scale that connects actuation at the micro-scale to measurements at the macro-scale. We show that mixed-feedback control at the nodal scale provides regulatory principles at the network scale, with a nodal resolution. In this sense, the mixed feedback paradigm is a control principle across scales.