22 February 2009

Do slime molds exhibit intelligence??

Twice I have featured posts on slime molds because they can be beautiful. Now there is a report that some slime molds may exhibit behavior normally associated with intelligence:
As the cells crawled across an agar plate, the researchers subjected them to cold, dry conditions for the first 10 minutes of every hour. During these cool spells, the cells slowed down their motion. After three cold snaps the scientists stopped changing the temperature and humidity and watched to see whether the amoebas had learned the pattern. Sure enough, many of the cells throttled back right on the hour in anticipation of another bout of cold weather. When conditions stayed stable for a while, the slime-mold amoebas gave up on their hourly braking, but when another single jolt of cold was applied, they resumed the behavior and correctly recalled the 60-minute interval. The amoebas were also able to respond to other intervals, ranging from 30 to 90 minutes.
Note these are single-celled creatures without brains. Those of you who run political blogs will love to use this for an analogy...

More at the Discovery Magazine link. Via.


  1. do you know the name of this particular yellow slime mould and where it would originate as I found one on the back of the shower wall

  2. The photo came from the Discovery Magazine link, where you can read about this slime mold.


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