The concept of autocatalytic sets has now also been used in cognition and the origin of culture. In a recent paper, collaborator Mike Steel and co-author Liane Gabora develop a novel idea that models of collectively autocatalytic networks, developed for understanding the origin and organization of life, may also help explain the origin of the kind of cognitive structure that makes cultural evolution possible. A very interesting and novel idea, taking autocatalytic sets far beyond chemistry & origin of life, and into the social sciences.
Liane Gabora and Mike Steel. Autocatalytic networks in cognition and the origin of culture. Journal of Theoretical Biology 431:87-95, 2017.