Pulsing blob makes memories sans brain

Slime molds navigate using their own gooey trails

By Susan Milius, 13:02 PM October 9, 2012

A dollop of living yellow ooze has aced a test of navigation, showing that you don’t really need a mind to make spatial memories.

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, says complex systems biologist Chris R. Reid of the University of Sydney. Smears of goo left behind as a slime mold crawls act as records of past paths. Given a choice, slime mol...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/pulsing-blob-makes-memories-sans-brain