On coupled oscillator dynamics and incident behaviour patterns in slime mould Physarum polycephalum: Emergence of wave packets, global streaming clock frequencies and anticipation of periodic stimuli

Mayne, R., Jones, J., Gale, E. and Adamatzky, A. (2017) On coupled oscillator dynamics and incident behaviour patterns in slime mould Physarum polycephalum: Emergence of wave packets, global streaming clock frequencies and anticipation of periodic stimuli. International Journal of Parallel, Emergent and Distributed Systems, 32 (1). pp. 95-118. ISSN 1744-5760 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/28524

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17445760.2016.1156108

Abstract/Description

Slime mould Physarum polycephalum is a single cell which physically oscillates via contraction of actomyosin in order to achieve motility. Several of its apparently ‘intelligent’ behaviour patterns such as anticipatory responses to periodic stimuli have recently been attributed as functions of the coupling between the oscillating intracellular reactions which drive its rhythmic muscular contraction, but the mechanisms that underlie these phenomena have not yet been experimentally verified. Through laboratory investigations in which we entrain the P. polycephalum plasmodium via periodic ultraviolet light exposure we find that this phenomenon is likely to result from biasing its various oscillating life processes through altering local concentration profiles of various allosteric molecules and their effectors. This temporarily overwrites the global streaming clock frequency and eradicates the wave packets usually observed in slime mould biomechanical oscillation. This response is likened to an intracellular chemical memory. We proceed to present a multi-agent model in which we demonstrate that travelling waves and oscillatory clock frequencies may emerge in the virtual organism’s biomechanical oscillator, although anticipatory responses cannot be replicated by simple mechanical interactions. We conclude by arguing that these phenomena are best characterised as analogue computation and discuss practical applications therein.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:physarum polycephalum, anticipation, ultraviolet light, emergent behaviour, multi-agent model, unconventional computing
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies
ID Code:28524
Deposited By: Dr R. Mayne
Deposited On:23 Mar 2016 11:42
Last Modified:24 Jun 2017 09:21

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