The Slime Mould Collective

An international network of/for intelligent organisms

Hello people! 

I have got a cool idea for an experiment on slime mold I'd like to conduct. It's been quite hyped on the internet that slime mold are intelligent but there only a few studies that everyone is referring to. So, I wanted to test slime mold intelligence myself.

I came up with a plan to have the slime mold (Physarum polycephalum) in a long but narrow container with two compartments that they are able to freely move between. One compartment is lit while the other is dark. I will swap the lit and dark compartments periodically. Slime mold avoids light so I expect it to move to the unlit compartment. After some amounts of swaps I will stop swapping the lights and see if the slime mold will anticipate the change and avoid the compartment that is supposed to be lit even when it isn't. 

I don't want torture my slime mold, so are there any tips to keep them healthy and content? Does anyone have any tips on how to film the process without tampering with the results of the trials since the slime mold in the dark compartment should be kept, well, in darkness? I was thinking about having the period of light and dark to be 3h. Do you think that is sensible? I'm having trouble deciding on the length of the container, since I'm not sure if I should let the slime mold have time to explore the container during one cycle of light and dark or have it so long that the slime mold practically will not find the end. 

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If you have a dslr you can utilize this a  There are timers out there.  I also do not know what it is called but here is an article

If you illuminate the area you set as dark as much (too little) as you can observe timelapse, there is no harm to the slimes. I don't think the 3-hour change period is enough for observation


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