Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pulsing blob makes memories sans brain | Life | Science News

Pulsing blob makes memories sans brain | Life | Science News: The egg-yolk-colored slime mold Physarum polycephalum is a single cell without any nervous system. But this blob of a creature uses its slime trails as a form of external spatial memory...

As a brainless blob it can solve some remarkable problems. Given some time, a single slime mold oozing through a maze tends to consolidate into strands along the shortest paths. Given a surface with food flakes placed at important population centers or other points of interest, a slime mold eventually forms a pattern similar to road maps of real countries (such as Spain) or real subway systems (such as Tokyo)...

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