The slime mould Physarum polycephalum has been used in developing unconventional computing devices for in which the slime mould played a role of a sensing, actuating, and computing device. These devices treated the slime mould rather as an active living substrate yet the slime mould is a self-consistent living creature which evolved for millions of years and occupied most part of the world, but in any case, that living entity did not own true cognition, just automated biochemical mechanisms. To “rehabilitate” the slime mould from the rank of a purely living electronics element to a “creature of thoughts” we are analyzing the cognitive potential of P. polycephalum. We base our theory of minimal cognition of the slime mould on a bottom-up approach, from the biological and biophysical nature of the slime mould and its regulatory systems using frameworks suh as Lyon’s biogenic cognition, Muller, di Primio-Lengeler\’s modifiable pathways, Bateson’s “patterns that connect” framework, Maturana’s autopoetic network, or proto-consciousness and Morgan’s Canon.
Slime mould: the fundamental mechanisms of cognition
Jordi Vallverdu, Oscar Castro, Richard Mayne, Max Talanov, Michael Levin, Frantisek Baluska, Yukio Gunji, Audrey Dussutour, Hector Zenil, Andrew Adamatzky