Looking for true intelligence, study shows that slime molds can learn

Slime molds make the news sometimes. It’s usually because a scientist figured out that a slime mold could solve a maze in a seemingly intentional way, or that it can grow through a space in an efficient enough pattern to make mathematicians sit up and notice. The implication is usually the same: Slime molds have intelligence. But do they? After all, just because something is complex and seemingly highly ordered doesn’t mean it couldn’t come about thanks to entirely non-intelligent processes — just look at the evolution by national selection that gave rise to the slime mold itself. This week, researchers from France’s Toulouse University published the newest piece of evidence in pursuit of a slime mold’s true IQ, approaching the question with a clever experimental design. They found that…


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