Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Brainless slime mould has an external memory

Slime moulds use a form of spatial "memory" to navigate, despite not having a brain, a study
has found.

Scientists in Australia s
tudied the organisms in an experiment normally used to test robots.

They found that the slime mould could navigate around a U-shaped maze to a food source, using their slimy deposits.
Researchers compare its path-finding method to Hansel and Gretel's breadcrumb trail.
Their full findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"A slime mould is not a fungus or mould, but is in fact a protist, which is really the odds and ends of the natural world that don't fit in with the rest of our taxonomic grouping system," said PhD student Christopher Reid who led the study.

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