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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Aug 10;99(6):068104. Epub 2007 Aug 10.

Minimum-risk path finding by an adaptive amoebal network.

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  • 1Research Institute for Electronic Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, 060-0812, Japan.


When two food sources are presented to the slime mold Physarum in the dark, a thick tube for absorbing nutrients is formed that connects the food sources through the shortest route. When the light-avoiding organism is partially illuminated, however, the tube connecting the food sources follows a different route. Defining risk as the experimentally measurable rate of light-avoiding movement, the minimum-risk path is exhibited by the organism, determined by integrating along the path. A model for an adaptive-tube network is presented that is in good agreement with the experimental observations.

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