Mushrooms are intelligent?


More than ten years ago, a Japanese scientist Toshuki Nakagaki conducted an interesting experiment. In his laboratory at Hokkaido University, he built a small maze in the likeness of those rodents which run on a memory test, and the rudiments of intelligence.

At the entrance to the labyrinth professor put a small piece of a conventional mold fungus, and output — refined sugar cube. In the wild mushrooms grow around round and symmetrical network of spider webs, but the fungus Physarum polycephalum behaved very strangely.

The smell of sugar from a distance, he decided to eat their prey and let the shoots through the maze. At every intersection webs Forked fungus, filling the space labirinta.Te of processes that fall into a dead end, came back and sought out the way in the other direction.

After 4 hours, mushroom cobweb filled all the passages of the labyrinth, and in a few hours one of them found a way to sugar. At the second stage of the experiment the scientist pinched off a tiny piece of gossamer fungus that participated in the experiment, and put it at the start of a similar maze with a cube of sugar output.

Immediately after the experiment began wonders. Gossamer instantly started up two branches that have begun to grow rapidly: the first paved the ideal way without any extra turn to sugar, and the second just climbed onto and crossed the wall of the maze in a straight line across the ceiling, do not waste time wandering the goal.

The experiment was repeated many times, used different mazes, but the result was always the same phenomenal. Mushrooms are not just memorize the shortest way to achieve goals at the level of instincts — they made a conscious choice, a non-trivial way to solve tasks.

And I think that this is evidence of the special representatives of the intellectual abilities of mushroom kingdom. At the time, this experiment brought a lot of rustling in the scientific world. His findings were published in reputable journals, including the journal «Nature».

But Professor Toshuki not going to stop there. About a year ago, he proved that fungi are able to plan roads and transport routes is much more effective professional engineers.

Scientist put Japan on the map bits of food, thus marking the country’s major cities. The capital of Japan were planted mushrooms, which are less than a day to recreate an exact copy of the rail network around Tokyo.

The professor does not cease to extol the intellect mushrooms, explaining that combine dozens of points of each other is not very difficult, but to connect them more efficiently and economically — is very difficult. However mushrooms coped with the task perfectly and what not only on the map of Japan.

Later, similar experiments were carried out on the maps of Spain and England. At this time, scientists have a precise model of the output network of roads, which in some cases contain extensions and changes made in recent times due to suboptimal initial planning.

Today Professor Toshuki continues to work with mushrooms and learn about their amazing intelligence. In his laboratory at Hokkaido University, he is trying to move the amazing ability of fungi on a computer model. The scientist believes that the results of the next experiment will help in the future to build efficient and fast information networks.

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