Brief Communication | Published:

Intelligence: Maze-solving by an amoeboid organism

Nature volume 407, page 470 (28 September 2000) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

The plasmodium of the slime mould Physarum polycephalum is a large amoeba-like cell consisting of a dendritic network of tube-like structures (pseudopodia). It changes its shape as it crawls over a plain agar gel and, if food is placed at two different points, it will put out pseudopodia that connect the two food sources. Here we show that this simple organism has the ability to find the minimum-length solution between two points in a labyrinth.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from $8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    & J. Cell Biol. 69 , 218–223 (1976).

  2. 2.

    , & J. Theor. Biol. 122, 339– 345 (1986).

  3. 3.

    , , & Cell Struct. Funct. 19, 363–370 ( 1994).

  4. 4.

    , & J. Theor. Biol. 197, 497–506 (1999).

  5. 5.

    , & Phys. Rev. E 59, 1009– 1014 (1999).

  6. 6.

    in Chemical Oscillations, Waves and Turbulence (Springer, Berlin, 1984).

  7. 7.

    , & Biophys. Chem. 84, 195– 204 (2000).

  8. 8.

    , & in Proc. Int. Conf. on Artificial Neural Networks (eds Kohonen, T. et al.) 1265–1268 (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1991).

  9. 9.

    & Phys. Rev. E 48, 187–195 (1993).

  10. 10.

    , & Science 267, 868 –871 (1995).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. *Bio-Mimetic Control Research Center, RIKEN, Shimoshidami, Moriyama, Nagoya 463-0003 , Japan

    • Toshiyuki Nakagaki
    •  & Hiroyasu Yamada
  2. †Local Spatio-Temporal Functions Laboratory, RIKEN, Wako 351-0198, Japan

    • Toshiyuki Nakagaki
    •  & Hiroyasu Yamada
  3. ‡Research Institute for Electronic Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0812, Japan

    • Hiroyasu Yamada
  4. §Department of Physical Chemistry, University of Szeged, PO Box 105, Szeged H-6701, Hungary

    • Ágota Tóth

Authors

  1. Search for Toshiyuki Nakagaki in:

  2. Search for Hiroyasu Yamada in:

  3. Search for Ágota Tóth in:

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Toshiyuki Nakagaki.

Supplementary information

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/35035159

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.