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Mushrooms can talk to each other in their own language: learn

A new study has found that fungi can communicate with each other through electrical signal patterns.

Computer scientist Andrew Adamatzky from the University of the West of England analyzed the electrical activity from four species of fungi and published his findings last Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science journal. He discovered that spikes in electrical activity are used by fungi to communicate and transmit information to other fungi in their network.

“So for this latest study, a computer scientist is sticking some electrodes in some mushrooms and asking, ‘What do the signals look like? And what’s the complexity with the signals? no?'”, Science and Technology Expert Dan Riskin of CTV News told CTV News Channel on Sunday.

Beneath each mushroom are mycelium, which are underground root-like structures that can be likened to neurons in the human nervous system. When the mycelium forms a network, called the mycelium, this can facilitate communication between the fungi.

“There is a whole culture around mushrooms and they are certainly great architects of our natural world,” says Riskin. “They have this huge underground network, and sometimes they poke the mushrooms up to spawn. But most of the time, they’re hidden.”

The study found that spikes in electrical signals produced by fungi can resemble a language. These mushrooms can be grouped into “words” and “sentences”, and according to research, these mushrooms can have a vocabulary of up to 50 “words”.

“There’s a growing body of evidence that these hyphae are sending some kind of inter-individual signaling…communicating about where resources are, where food is, and possibly also having conversations. talking like mushrooms to each other,” explains Riskin.

The complexity of language varies between species of fungi. Research shows that split gill mushrooms can produce the most complex sentences with the largest vocabulary, while other species such as enoki mushrooms and caterpillar mushrooms have much smaller vocabularies.

But while the study compared the mushroom’s electrical signals to “speech,” Riskin said it was “a giant step forward” in showing that the mushrooms were using actual words to communicate with each other, similar to each other. same as human.

“I think most biologists would say that took it too far… But that said, that complexity may underlie the actual communication that is going on,” he said. between these organisms.

“It makes sense. They have the architecture to do that and it will benefit them from a natural selection standpoint. So there’s definitely a lot to decipher here about how these mushrooms work. this and how these fungi are doing what they do.”

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