Amoebae Exhibit Brainless Intelligence

Posted 9 Jan 2008 at 17:11 UTC by steve Share This

How often have you wonder if it was possible to make a robot that could match the intelligence of an insect or even an amoeba? This is a tall order for even the most advanced robots in the world today and new research by Atsushi Tero and Toshiyuki Nakagaki of the Hokkaido University Lab for Cellular Informatics reminds us just how smart even a brainless single celled animal can be. There latest research shows that amoebae can be trained to anticipate environmental changes, exhibiting a Pavlovian-like responses even though they have no brain or nervous system. Unfortunately, their paper appeared in a closed journal that restricts viewing and distribution, so you'll have to be content viewing the abstract for now (unless you want to part with $25). The same research group has been studying other intelligent, autonomous behaviors that emerge through self-organization in single celled animals; for example their paper (PDF format) showing that slime mold cells use an algorithm for navigation of mazes that beats Dijkstra's algorithm.

Trees, posted 9 Jan 2008 at 20:00 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

I've also heard of certain trees exhibiting similar intelligent behavior even though they don't seem to have a brain either.

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