2010 Volume 1 Issue 1 Pages 26-36
Revealing how lower organisms solve complicated problems is a challenging research area, which could reveal the evolutionary origin of biological information processing. Here we report on the ability of a single-celled organism, true slime mold, to find a smart solution of risk management under spatio-temporally varying conditions. We designed test conditions under which there were three food-locations at vertices of equilateral triangle and a toxic light illuminated the organism on alternating halves of the triangle. We found that the organism behavior depended on the period of the repeated illumination, even though the total exposure time was kept the same . A simple mathematical model for the experimental results is proposed from a dynamical system point of view. We discuss our results in the context of a strategy of risk management by Physarum.