Plasmodium of Physarum polycephalum is a large cell, visible by unaided eye, which exhibits sophisticated patterns of foraging behaviour. The plasmodium's behaviour is well interpreted in terms of computation, where data are spatially extended configurations of nutrients and obstacles, and results of computation are networks of protoplasmic tubes formed by the plasmodium. In laboratory experiments and numerical simulation we show that if plasmodium of Physarum is inoculated in a maze's peripheral channel and an oat flake (source of attractants) in a the maze's central chamber then the plasmodium grows toward target oat flake and connects the flake with the site of original inoculation with a pronounced protoplasmic tube. The protoplasmic tube represents a path in the maze. The plasmodium solves maze in one pass because it is assisted by a gradient of chemo-attractants propagating from the target oat flake.
- Pub Date:
- August 2011
- Nonlinear Sciences - Pattern Formation and Solitons;
- Computer Science - Emerging Technologies;
- Quantitative Biology - Cell Behavior
- IEEE Trans on NanoBioscience Volume: 11 , Issue: 2, 2012, Page(s): 131 - 134