Memristive model of amoeba's learning

Abstract

Recently, behavioural intelligence of the plasmodia of the true slime mold has been demonstrated. It was shown that a large amoeba-like cell Physarum polycephalum subject to a pattern of periodic environmental changes learns and changes its behaviour in anticipation of the next stimulus to come. Currently, it is not known what specific mechanisms are responsible for such behaviour. Here, we show that such behaviour can be mapped into the response of a simple electronic circuit consisting of an LC contour and a memory-resistor (a memristor) to a train of voltage pulses that mimic environment changes. We identify a possible microscopic origin of the memristive behaviour in the Physarum polycephalum, which together with the naturally occurring biological oscillators, forms the basis of the amoeba's learning. These microscopic memristive features are likely to occur in other unicellular as well as multicellular organisms, albeit in different forms. Therefore, the above memristive circuit model, which has learning properties, is useful to better understand the origins of primitive intelligence.

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Correspondence to Yuriy Pershin or Massimiliano Di Ventra.

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Pershin, Y., La Fontaine, S. & Di Ventra, M. Memristive model of amoeba's learning. Nat Prec (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/npre.2008.2431.1

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Keywords

  • primitive intelligence
  • cellular intelligence
  • amoeba
  • oscillator
  • learning
  • modeling
  • behavior

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