The Physarum polycephalum actin network: formalisation, topology and morphological correlates with computational ability
The plasmodial form of slime mould Physarum polycephalum is a macroscopic acellular organism that is capable of apparently intelligent behaviour, yet it lacks any features usually associated with intelligence. In this investigation, we study the morphology of the plasmodial actin cytoskeleton and formalise its network topology in efforts to correlate cytoskeletal morphology with slime mould computational abilities. The plasmodial actin network is a highly abundant, complex structure which links the functional components of the cell, whose topology may be approximated with a range of proximity graphs, depending on the physiological and environmental conditions within the plasmodium. Its topology is highly dynamical and is likely to rapidly alter in response to environmental stimuli to maximise network efficiency. We conclude by discussing the nature of the computational process in organic networks.
- Published: 2nd Feb 2015
- Publisher: ACM