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The Blob: Questioning Intelligence

In this episode, we discussed "the blob", also known as slime mould or by its latin name, Physarum polycephalum. This fungal-like organism is just a single cell but exhibits some extraordinary behaviours, namely pathfinding and route optimisation, that resembles high-level intelligence. We discuss scientific studies that have explored slime mould behaviour, and the comparisons that can be made to animal intelligence.

Find the episode here

An excellent review article about slime moulds:

Slime moulds can solve maze problems:

“Remarkable problem-solving ability of unicellular amoeboid organism and its mechanism” team led by Masashi Aono at Keio University, Japan (2018)

"Rules for Biologically Inspired Adaptive Network Design" Toshiyuki Nakagaki at Hokkaido University, Japan (2010)

Slime moulds habituate to environmental conditions, a form of learning:

“Habituation in non-neural organisms: evidence from slime moulds” Romain Boisseau, David Vogel, Audrey Dussutour (2016)

" Direct transfer of learned behaviour via cell fusion in non-neural organisms” David Vogel & Audrey Dussutour (2016)

"Adaptive behaviour and learning in slime moulds: the role of oscillations"


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