On the role of the plasmodial cytoskeleton in facilitating intelligent behaviour in slime mould Physarum polycephalum

Mayne, R., Adamatzky, A. and Jones, J. (2015) On the role of the plasmodial cytoskeleton in facilitating intelligent behaviour in slime mould Physarum polycephalum. Communicative & Integrative Biology, 8 (4). e1059007. ISSN 1942-0889 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/26429

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19420889.2015.1059007


The plasmodium of slime mold Physarum polycephalum behaves as an amorphous reaction-diffusion computing substrate and is capable of apparently ‘intelligent’ behavior. But how does intelligence emerge in an acellular organism? Through a range of laboratory experiments, we visualize the plasmodial cytoskeleton—a ubiquitous cellular protein scaffold whose functions are manifold and essential to life—and discuss its putative role as a network for transducing, transmitting and structuring data streams within the plasmodium. Through a range of computer modeling techniques, we demonstrate how emergent behavior, and hence computational intelligence, may occur in cytoskeletal communications networks. Specifically, we model the topology of both the actin and tubulin cytoskeletal networks and discuss how computation may occur therein. Furthermore, we present bespoke cellular automata and particle swarm models for the computational process within the cytoskeleton and observe the incidence of emergent patterns in both. Our work grants unique insight into the origins of natural intelligence; the results presented here are therefore readily transferable to the fields of natural computation, cell biology and biomedical science. We conclude by discussing how our results may alter our biological, computational and philosophical understanding of intelligence and consciousness.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This article was accepted for publication in Communicative & Integrative Biology in 2014.
Uncontrolled Keywords:slime mould, plasmodial cytoskeleton, intelligent behaviour, unconventional computing
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies
ID Code:26429
Deposited By: Dr J. Jones
Deposited On:25 Aug 2015 10:33
Last Modified:10 Feb 2017 14:57

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