Send to

Choose Destination
IEEE Trans Nanobioscience. 2012 Jun;11(2):131-4. doi: 10.1109/TNB.2011.2181978. Epub 2012 Feb 7.

Slime mold solves maze in one pass, assisted by gradient of chemo-attractants.

Author information

University of the West of England, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK.


Plasmodium of Physarum polycephalum is a large cell, visible by unaided eye, which exhibits sophisticated patterns of foraging behaviour. The plasmodium's behaviour is well interpreted in terms of computation, where data are spatially extended configurations of nutrients and obstacles, and results of computation are networks of protoplasmic tubes formed by the plasmodium. In laboratory experiments and numerical simulation we show that if plasmodium of P. polycephalum is inoculated in a maze's peripheral channel and an oat flake (source of attractants) in a the maze's central chamber then the plasmodium grows toward target oat flake and connects the flake with the site of original inoculation with a pronounced protoplasmic tube. The protoplasmic tube represents a path in the maze. The plasmodium solves maze in one pass because it is assisted by a gradient of chemo-attractants propagating from the target oat flake.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
Loading ...
Support Center