Cell-to-Cell Information at a Feedback-Induced Bifurcation Point

Amir Erez, Tommy A. Byrd, Michael Vennettilli, Andrew Mugler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A ubiquitous way that cells share information is by exchanging molecules. Yet, the fundamental ways that this information exchange is influenced by intracellular dynamics remain unclear. Here we use information theory to investigate a simple model of two interacting cells with internal feedback. We show that cell-to-cell molecule exchange induces a collective two-cell critical point and that the mutual information between the cells peaks at this critical point. Information can remain large far from the critical point on a manifold of cellular states but scales logarithmically with the correlation time of the system, resulting in an information-correlation time trade-off. This trade-off is strictly imposed, suggesting the correlation time as a proxy for the mutual information.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number048103
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - 24 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Physical Society.


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