Collective intelligence, no neurons necessary

Slime mold occupies a funny in-between ground, not a single-celled organism nor a multi-celled organism. It’s a colony of single-cell amoebas that behaves in some way as a unified organism.

This week, an experiment came out of the Harvard laboratory of Niroshu Morugan. A slime mold colony on a petri dish senses its environment and makes a collective decision in which direction to move (by growing new cells).

There is some evidence about how the cells sense the environment, but none about how this information is communicated to the colony, or how the information is processed to support a decision. We haven’t a clue.

This experiment challenges our idea of what kinds of organisms can exhibit intelligent behavior.


<science blog="" article

<Science Blog article

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