Who says you need brains to be smart? Extremely primitive life-forms called slime molds can navigate mazes, choose between foods, and create efficient networks—no brain required. New research on these organisms, which are neither plant nor animal, could help reveal the fundamental rules underlying all decision making.
Slime molds look like something out of science fiction, but these primitive, forest-dwelling organisms are very real. Now, scientists from across the globe team up to put one particular species, the electric yellow <i>Physarum polycephalum</i>, to the test. Fueled by oatmeal, these brainless blobs spread out in weblike patterns to navigate mazes and create efficient networks. They can even learn to tolerate chemical obstacles to reach their next meal. Can these remarkable organisms, which are neither plant nor animal, redefine intelligence and decision-making?
Producer: Laurie Cahalane, Melanie Wallace, Vincent Liota, Jacques Mitsch
Executive Producer: Julia Cort, Chris Schmidt
Production Company: Semicolon Pictures LLC; Hauteville Productions
Production Year: 2020
Copyright Year: 2020
Director: Vincent Liota, Jacques Mitsch
Narrator: Craig Sechler
Writers: Laurent Mizrahi, Jacques Mitsch, Gilles Pedoussaut, Vivien Meltz, Karina Si Ahmed
Number of Discs: 1