login::  password::




cwbe coordinatez:
101
63533
5211994
8164670

ABSOLUT
KYBERIA
permissions
you: r,
system: public
net: yes

neurons

stats|by_visit|by_K
source
tiamat
commanders
polls

total descendants::0
total children::0
2 K

show[ 2 | 3] flat


Decision-making without a brain: how an amoeboid organism solves the two-armed bandit

While less recognized than their animal counterparts, many non-neuronal organisms, such as plants, bacteria, fungi and protists, also have the ability to make complex decisions in difficult environments. The most incredible feats of problem-solving among non-neuronal organisms, many previously reported only in the so-called cognitive organisms, have been demonstrated by the unicellular slime mould Physarum polycephalum. This unicellular protist lacks a central nervous system and possesses no neurons, yet it has been demonstrated to solve convoluted labyrinth mazes, find shortest length networks and solve challenging optimization problems, anticipate periodic events, use its slime trail as an externalized spatial memory system to avoid revisiting areas it has already explored and even construct transport networks that have similar efficiency to those designed by human engineers. Slime mould cells also display similar decision-making constraints to the cognitive constraints observed in brains. Latty & Beekman provide evidence that P. polycephalum is vulnerable to making the same economically irrational decisions that can afflict humans, starlings, honeybees and grey jays. The same authors also demonstrate that, like humans, slime moulds are subject to speed-accuracy trade-offs when confronted with a difficult choice set.