Slime mold absorbs substances to memorize them | 4/22/2019 | Staff
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In 2016, CNRS scientists demonstrated that the slime mold Physarum polycephalum, a single-cell organism without a nervous system, could learn to no longer fear a harmless but aversive substance and could transmit this knowledge to a fellow slime mold. In a new study, a team from CNRS and the Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier has shown what might support this memory, and in fact, it could be the aversive substance itself.

Physarum polycephalum is a complex single-cell organism that has no nervous system, however it can learn and transfer its knowledge to its fellow slime moulds via fusion. How it does so was a mystery until recently. Researchers at the Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition Animale (CNRS/UT3 Paul Sabatier) have recently demonstrated that slime moulds learn to tolerate a substance by absorbing it.

Discovery - Observation - Slime - Moulds - Information

This discovery stems from an observation: slime moulds only exchange information when their venous networks fuse. In that case, does knowledge circulate through these veins? Is it the substance that the slime mould gets used to that supports its memory?

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