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PDF 5.39 MB
Pages 25–32
First published 20 July 2015

Slime mould actin sensoriactuation networks: topology, dynamic transformations and models of self-assembly

Richard Mayne and Andrew Adamatkzy


The plasmodium of slime mould Physarum polycephalum is a macroscopic multinucleate single cell which, despite displaying apparently ‘intelligent’ behaviour patterns, lacks any of the physical components usually associated with biological intelligence. In previous works, we have suggested that the plasmodial actin network functions as a nano-scale information processor whose functions contribute to the organism’s ability to compute the solutions to complex functions. In this investigation, we produce experimental observations of plasmodial actin networks and use proximity diagrams to analyse their topology. Consequently, using optimised Toussaint Hierarchy and β-skeleton models, we approximate the characteristical dynamic topological transformations resulting from the spontaneous actin as-sembly/disassembly in areas with denser networks such as growth cones. We conclude by discussing the role of the cytoskeleton in facilitating intracellular computing with vari-ous media (vesicles, electrical potential, Davydov solitons), how computation can be implemented in such a network and practical considerations for designing ‘useful’ actin comput-ing circuits. Our results emphasise the viability of biological substrates for unconventional computing and the value of proximity graphs in approximating features of living systems.