Biological networks frequently possess complex coupling architectures with large numbers of cyclic paths embedded within them. These recurrent structures lead readily to emergent dynamics. In the first part of this talk we will explore how this dynamics can enhance information processing in cellular regulatory networks of different organisms, ranging from bacteria to humans. In the second part we will discuss how recurrent dynamics can lead to ordered collective behavior out of a collection of noisy elements, concentrating in the case of populations of neurons in the cerebral cortex.