This Weirdly Smart, Creeping Slime Is Redefining Our Understanding of Intelligence | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

This Weirdly Smart, Creeping Slime Is Redefining Our Understanding of Intelligence

What you're looking at is the plasmodium form of Physarum polycephalum, the many-headed slime mold. This bizarre little organism doesn't have a brain, or a nervous system – its blobby, bright-yellow body is just one cell. This slime mold species has thrived, more or less unchanged, for a billion years in its damp, decaying habitats. And, in the last decade, it's been changing how we think about cognition and problem-solving.

Cognition without a brain
Like all organisms, P. polycephalum needs to be able to make decisions about its environment. It needs to seek food and avoid danger. It needs to find the ideal conditions for its reproductive cycle. And this is where our little yellow friend gets really interesting. P. polycephalum doesn't have a central nervous system. It doesn't even have specialized tissues.

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