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Monday, January 27, 2014
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


A Single-celled Brain: The Lives and Thoughts of Physarum Polycephalum

Marcelo Magnasco
The Rockefeller University

The true slime mold Physarum polycephalum is a unicellular, multinucleated organism. It forages for its food sources, such as decomposing wood, by forming complex adaptive patterns of veins, through which it streams its own cytoplasm, and in the wild can reach up to 40 cm in size. Its internal cytoplasmic streaming is both its means of distributing nutrients as well as its means of communication among its parts, and computations and decision-making about the environment and itself. We show electrophysiological recordings showing Physarum has action potentials, and we study Physarum's complex internal ruminations through calcium and voltage imaging techniques.

Host: Misha Chertkov