Slime mold is a very curious substance. Lab experiments have found that some types of the organisms exhibit signs of "intelligence" -- in the form of being able to learn and remember -- even though they're "no more than a bag of amoebae encased in a thin slime sheath," as slime mold expert John Tyler Bonner put it.
Ella Gale, who researches memristors and brain-like computers at the University of the West of England, has translated some of a particular slime mold's more interesting behaviors into human emotion -- as expressed by a robot face.
Physarum polycephalum can navigate a maze, find food with uncommon swiftness, and retreat from light. Placing the mold on a bed of 64 microelectrodes, along with some oat flakes, Gale shone light onto the fungus. As it moved toward the food or shied away from the light, it produced electrical signals, which Gale then converted into sound frequencies. … Read more