Networks of <em>Physarum polycephalum</em> under exploration and foraging context — ASN Events

Networks of Physarum polycephalum under exploration and foraging context (#345)

David Vogel 1 , Jacques Gautrais 1 , Andrea Perna 2 , Frédéric Ambalrd 3 , David J.T Sumpter 4 , Audrey Dussutour 1
  1. Research center on animal cognition, Toulouse, HAUTE-GARONNE, France
  2. Paris 7 Interdisciplinary Energy Research Institute, Paris, France
  3. Toulouse informatic research institute, Toulouse, France
  4. Mathematical institute, Uppsala, Sweden

Some organisms, including fungi, ants or slime molds, explore their environment and forage by forming interconnected network. The plasmodium of the slime mold P.polycephalum is a large unicellular amoeboid which grows a tubular spatial network through which nutrients, body mass and chemicals signal are transported. Individual slime molds are capable of sophisticated behaviors such as optimizing their network topology and dynamics using only decentralized information processing. In our study, we used a population of slime molds which interconnect through time, in order to analyse, the dynamical interaction between individual networks growth. Varying two initial conditions, the initial distance between individuals and their size, we found that the topology of the global network was affected, under both exploration and foraging context. Biological explanations are given to understand how and why the plasmodium should build these different forms of networks.