UWE Bristol academic researches the language of fungi derived from their electrical spiking activity

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Fungi with electrical current

UWE Bristol academic Professor Andrew Adamatzky has theorised that electrical impulses sent by mycological organisms could be similar to human language, after undertaking research into four type of fungi.

Professor Adamatzky research, which has recently been published in the Royal Society Open Science, highlighted that fungi exhibit oscillations of extracellular electrical potential (or electrical spikes) recorded via differential electrodes inserted into a substrate colonized by mycelium or directly into sporocarps.

The research found that the spikes often became clustered, resembling vocabularies of up to 50 words, and the spreading of these “fungal word lengths” strongly complemented those of human languages.

Andy commented: “In the future, it would be good to collect more data on `language’ of different species of fungi to check if there are any species-specific variations.”

Professor Andrew Adamatzky is a Professor in Unconventional Computing and founded the Unconventional Computing Laboratory in 2001 as a response to an urgent need to develop computers for next century.

Read more about Professor Andrew Adamatzky work in this Guardian Article.

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