Mushrooms communicate with each other using up to 50 ‘words’, scientist claims

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Mushrooms communicate with each other using up to 50 ‘words’, scientist claims

Linda Geddes

Quote:Mathematical analysis of the electrical signals fungi seemingly send to one another has identified patterns that bear a striking structural similarity to human speech.

Previous research has suggested that fungi conduct electrical impulses through long, underground filamentous structures called hyphae – similar to how nerve cells transmit information in humans.

It has even shown that the firing rate of these impulses increases when the hyphae of wood-digesting fungi come into contact with wooden blocks, raising the possibility that fungi use this electrical “language” to share information about food or injury with distant parts of themselves, or with hyphae-connected partners such as trees.

But do these trains of electrical activity have anything in common with human language?
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2022-04-06, 05:23 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Mushrooms communicate with each other using up to 50 ‘words’, scientist claims

Linda Geddes

Quote: But do these trains of electrical activity have anything in common with human language?
Where's Noam Chomsky when you need him?

But actually - I would want to "hear" the communication of the forest as music, rather than look for ourselves in the notes.
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Language of fungi derived from their electrical spiking activity

Andrew Adamatzky

Quote:Fungi exhibit oscillations of extracellular electrical potential recorded via differential electrodes inserted into a substrate colonized by mycelium or directly into sporocarps. We analysed electrical activity of ghost fungi (Omphalotus nidiformis), Enoki fungi (Flammulina velutipes), split gill fungi (Schizophyllum commune) and caterpillar fungi (Cordyceps militaris). The spiking characteristics are species specific: a spike duration varies from 1 to 21 h and an amplitude from 0.03 to 2.1 mV. We found that spikes are often clustered into trains. Assuming that spikes of electrical activity are used by fungi to communicate and process information in mycelium networks, we group spikes into words and provide a linguistic and information complexity analysis of the fungal spiking activity. We demonstrate that distributions of fungal word lengths match that of human languages. We also construct algorithmic and Liz-Zempel complexity hierarchies of fungal sentences and show that species S. commune generate the most complex sentences.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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