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Mushrooms can communicate with each other


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#1 Juthro

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Posted 06 April 2022 - 12:52 PM

I found this article kind of fascinating, though some of you might do so as well.

https://www.theguard...-language-study
 

Buried in forest litter or sprouting from trees, fungi might give the impression of being silent and relatively self-contained organisms, but a new study suggests they may be champignon communicators.

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?

Hotspots of mycorrhizal fungi are thought to be under threat, from agriculture, urbanisation, pollution, water scarcity and changes to the climate.
World’s vast networks of underground fungi to be mapped for first time
Read more
To investigate, Prof Andrew Adamatzky at the University of the West of England’s unconventional computing laboratory in Bristol analysed the patterns of electrical spikes generated by four species of fungi – enoki, split gill, ghost and caterpillar fungi.

He did this by inserting tiny microelectrodes into substrates colonised by their patchwork of hyphae threads, their mycelia.

“We do not know if there is a direct relationship between spiking patterns in fungi and human speech. Possibly not,” Adamatzky said. “On the other hand, there are many similarities in information processing in living substrates of different classes, families and species. I was just curious to compare.”

The research, published in Royal Society Open Science, found that these spikes often clustered into trains of activity, resembling vocabularies of up to 50 words, and that the distribution of these “fungal word lengths” closely matched those of human languages.

Split gills – which grow on decaying wood, and whose fruiting bodies resemble undulating waves of tightly packed coral – generated the most complex “sentences” of all.

The most likely reasons for these waves of electrical activity are to maintain the fungi’s integrity – analogous to wolves howling to maintain the integrity of the pack – or to report newly discovered sources of attractants and repellants to other parts of their mycelia, Adamtzky suggested.

“There is also another option – they are saying nothing,” he said. “Propagating mycelium tips are electrically charged, and, therefore, when the charged tips pass in a pair of differential electrodes, a spike in the potential difference is recorded.”

Whatever these “spiking events” represent, they do not appear to be random, he added.

Even so, other scientists would like to see more evidence before they are willing to accept them as a form of language. Other types of pulsing behaviour have previously been recorded in fungal networks, such as pulsing nutrient transport – possibly caused by rhythmic growth as fungi forage for food.

“This new paper detects rhythmic patterns in electric signals, of a similar frequency as the nutrient pulses we found,” said Dan Bebber, an associate professor of biosciences at the University of Exeter, and a member of the British Mycological Society’s fungal biology research committee.

“Though interesting, the interpretation as language seems somewhat overenthusiastic, and would require far more research and testing of critical hypotheses before we see ‘Fungus’ on Google Translate.”


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#2 DonShadow

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Posted 06 April 2022 - 04:30 PM

I would define language as the transmission of pertinent data by whatever means through a given medium from a relatively independent organism to another compatible receiver—sort of like electrical current passing through a wire. Every language, no matter how “advanced” is thus only an expansion of this general formula. It seems pretty boneheaded to suggest that the fungal language isn’t “language” just because it doesn’t resemble human communication, but of course that’s just the tip of the anthropocentric hypha. When I imagine the concept of the Logos or the Word of God, I picture a hypha germinating from the absolute Source or seed of all creation. To me mycelium is the physical embodiment of the Logos, and mushrooms are the Word made flesh.

Most of my inane blathering also revolves around the topic of food, and I also make money by making stuff out of pieces of dead wood, so I think fungi and I are far more similar than we are different. Fungi can communicate with people too, as I suspect many here well know.

Edited by DonShadow, 06 April 2022 - 05:49 PM.

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#3 Juthro

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Posted 06 April 2022 - 05:11 PM

I mean really isn't our hearing really just a bio-transceiver that turns sound waves into electrical impulses, that our brain then perceives how it will.  I agree that it is kind of closed minded to think that communications between organisms isn't language just because it doesn't resemble our own.


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#4 Arathu

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Posted 06 April 2022 - 05:49 PM

They've spoken straight up human speech to me.....I don't care if anyone believes me....why would they? Now I have to set up the apparatus and measure them myself......play it through an amplifier if it's the right frequency....

 

I've suspected this myself, the electrical impulses not the patterns (which are icing on the cake to me) for a very long time....how can it NOT be?

 

So perhaps dissolving materials via enzymes and consuming them makes sparks, via the Spitzenkorper methinks, IDK......Electromagnetic signature and signals and wow it can be measured!

 

Growing mycelium "talks"...............Of course it does......AWESOME! The song of the running fungus......I think everything does..........

 

 

Introduction

Eukaryotic diversity is manifest in a stunning variety of cellular form and function. From unicellular yeasts to multicellular plants and animals, the ability to polarize signaling, cytoskeleton and endomembrane trafficking underlies the fundamental processes of morphogenesis and differentiation1,2,3. In a given cell type, polarization appears to involve the combined action of ancient functional modules, such as Rho GTPases and cytoskeletal elements, operating under the control of lineage-specific regulatory components4,5. Intensively studied in the yeasts, polarization is a sequential process consisting of the selection of a defined cortical site, recruitment of polarity establishment proteins, F-actin polymerization, cytoskeleton-dependent recruitment of secretory and endocytic machineries, and reinforcement of the polarity axis through scaffold assembly and transport-mediated positive feedback (reviewed in refs. 2,3,5).

 

 

 

https://www.nature.c...467-020-16712-9

 

Possibly........very cool any way you look at it IMHO.....if polarized cells line up in series (is that what a polarity axis through a scaffold means?) I wonder what voltage's they can reach? Dude...... 

 

Cool post Juth.........thanks...

 

 

EDIT:

 

The Spitzenkörper (SPK) constitutes a collection of secretory vesicles and polarity-related proteins intimately associated with polarized growth of fungal hyphae.

Same link......


Edited by Arathu, 06 April 2022 - 05:54 PM.

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#5 Coopdog

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Posted 07 April 2022 - 01:46 AM

They have spoken to me as well. Been rather hard on me a few times, but indeed I deserved it. 


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#6 Arathu

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Posted 07 April 2022 - 05:12 AM

We're not the only ones, we certainly are not "greater than" or "masters of" the other kingdoms........but we're definitely a troublesome lot.....

 

In another life I would be authoring some of these papers.......sigh......

 

 

In 1976 Slayman, Long and Gradmann discovered action potential like spikes using intra-cellular recording of mycelium of Neurospora crassa10. Four types of action potential have been identified: (1) spontaneous quasi-sinusoidal fluctuations of 10–20 mV amplitude, period 3–4 min, (2) as previous but shorter period of 20–30 sec, (3) cyanide induced oscillations of progressively lengthening period, starting with initial depolarisation of 20–60 mV, and (4) damped sinusoidal oscillations with amplitude 50–100 mV, period 0.2–2 mins. Twenty years later, Olsson and Hansson demonstrated spontaneous action potential like activity in a hypha of Pleurotus ostreatus and Armillaria bulbosa; they conducted intra-cellular recording with reference electrode in an agar substrate11. They shown that resting potential is −70 to −100 mV, amplitude of spikes varies from 5 to 50 mV, duration from 20 to 500 ms, frequency 0.5–5 Hz.

 

https://www.nature.c...598-018-26007-1

 

Oysters at DELTA......KEWL! We probably should ask them if they want the rest of humanity to know.......hahaha

 

Very cool stuff man. I've been meaning to revisit this since I first read McCoy's Radical Mycology........

 

I even bought good instrumentation amplifiers.....just didn't follow through yet.....man now I have to finish my EEG too.....I need a freaking research budget....

 

A

 


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#7 beadyeyes

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Posted 07 April 2022 - 08:53 AM

Who knows maybe fungi have some sort of consciessness


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#8 bezevo

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Posted 07 April 2022 - 11:44 AM

Stamets book  yes there talking directly to us

 

https://en.wikipedia...ycelium_Running

 

 

Mycelium_Running.jpg


Edited by bezevo, 07 April 2022 - 11:46 AM.

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#9 livefrom215

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Posted 07 April 2022 - 11:55 AM

I totally believe they have some sort of consciousness... There is a Disney doc which has a segment about ants and how they work together with mycellium in there underground ant hills colonies. Its so amazing to see what ants are capable of doing and teaming up with fungus was absolutely astounding to me to see how they worked together. I think they communicate and some how form one large group conscious. Sorry to babble got a little excited


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#10 shiftingshadows

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Posted 08 April 2022 - 10:30 AM

more recent related article:

 

Language of fungi
derived from electrical spiking activity
Andrew Adamatzky
Unconventional Computing Laboratory, UWE, Bristol, UK
 Fungi exhibit oscillations of extracellular electrical potential recorded via dif- ferential electrodes inserted into a substrate colonised by mycelium or directly into sporocarps. We analysed electrical activity of ghost fungi (Omphalotus ni- diformis), Enoki fungi (Flammulina velutipes), split gill fungi (Schizophyllum commune) and caterpillar fungi (Cordyceps militari). The spiking characteris- tics are species specific: a spike duration varies from one to 21 hours and an amplitude from 0.03 mV to 2.1mV. We found that spikes are often clustered into trains. Assuming that spikes of electrical activity are used by fungi to com- municate and process information in mycelium networks, we group spikes into words and provide a linguistic and information complexity analysis of the fun- gal 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 most complex sentences.

 

 

 

https://arxiv.org/pdf/2112.09907.pdf


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#11 beadyeyes

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Posted 08 April 2022 - 12:00 PM

 We demonstrate that distributions of fungal word lengths match that of human languages. 

 

https://arxiv.org/pdf/2112.09907.pdf

Its amazing! If considered that plants are associated with fungi the Gaia hypothesis is not so far fetched. Its like mycelium could be Nature brain.


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#12 Skywatcher

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Posted 08 April 2022 - 04:49 PM

If the vast knowledge shared with me by elder trees, the plant and cactus teachers, and lessons from the mushrooms themselves has any value or validity to others besides myself, I have been shown the web that is Gaia.

 

It is a worldwide network, and communication and awareness travels between the vast mycelium interweaving's, with tree and plant roots, even micro-organisms and bacteria at times. Water is a conductor. Animals and insects are tied in via ingestion, and physical contact.

 

We are all woven together with every living thing. No action in one place is without some consequence elsewhere.

So IMO language is not dependent on words, and we would do well to understand other forms of communication are far more useful to the myriads of lifeforms we co-habitate with.


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#13 shiftingshadows

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Posted 08 April 2022 - 06:55 PM

Skywatcher

 

.    What you write sounds so beautiful. it is easy to forget that about 50% of animal species, are parasitic,

and carnivores often begin to devour their prey before it is dead.

.   And many insects lay eggs inside other insects,

that are kept alive  & fresh by special toxins  

for their progeny to devour from the inside.

.   The natural world is anything but one big happy family.


Edited by shiftingshadows, 08 April 2022 - 06:57 PM.

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#14 Juthro

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Posted 08 April 2022 - 08:17 PM

No living organism is inert, all living things take from the earth, and eventually give back to the earth. 

 

What living thing takes nothing from something else, are they not all parasitic on some level?    Grass pulls nutrients from the soil and energy from the sun,  bacteria process dead organic material,  moose eat my garden, eagles eat baby birds, and so on.   So the cycle turns, admittedly it doesn't always seem kind, but I for one am not ready for wheel to stop turning.


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#15 Arathu

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Posted 09 April 2022 - 05:56 AM

Literally..........the vast many making the ONE.....on scales that we cannot even fathom.....

 

We're ALL dirtmakers....consumers on the way up and givers on the way down......

 

A


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#16 beadyeyes

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Posted 09 April 2022 - 08:33 AM

 

.   The natural world is anything but one big happy family.

Nature is very efficient in maintaining and developing Life, but it can be very cruel at times. I think its because it does not center around individual life forms but rather the ecological community.


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#17 Skywatcher

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Posted 09 April 2022 - 09:18 AM

The natural world is anything but one big happy family.

 

The Living Earth maintains her balance.

I am well studied with decades of observation on the complex relationships between Predator and Prey. One cannot exist without the other.

I would choose the description of "cyclic", rather than "happy" for the world, but what is perceived as beautiful is a choice of the minds eye my friend.


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#18 shiftingshadows

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Posted 09 April 2022 - 09:44 AM

No living organism is inert, all living things take from the earth, and eventually give back to the earth. 

 

What living thing takes nothing from something else, are they not all parasitic on some level?    Grass pulls nutrients from the soil and energy from the sun,  bacteria process dead organic material,  moose eat my garden, eagles eat baby birds, and so on.   So the cycle turns, admittedly it doesn't always seem kind, but I for one am not ready for wheel to stop turning.

No they are Not all parasitic on the same level - far from it:

 

As they say: "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is." 

In other words what sounds good when couched in idealistic abstract words, often bears little resemblance to reality.

 

So in this case getting all woo woo about GAIA and trans-species communication overlooks the fact that humans fear much of the natural world,

and have done so for tens of thousands of years with good reasons.

Living in a relatively hygienic & modern western country has insulated us all and makes outside reality easy to forget,

much of it is unfortunately rather unpleasant.

 

https://duckduckgo.c...mages&ia=images

 

https://www.youtube....te gruesomeness

 

and this, Skywatcher,  "but what is perceived as beautiful is a choice of the minds eye my friend." is very easy to say when you're not getting eaten from the inside out! Or you mother is Not dying from ebola. or your kid doesn't have a deformed brain from the Zika virus; flowery words are cheap, my friend.

 

But it's not just you, living in a relatively hygienic & modern western country has insulated us all and makes outside reality easy to forget,

but much of it is unfortunately , being a little more direct, this time, absolutely horrifying.
As indeed Marlon Brando says near the end of the movie: Apocalypse Now.

Edited by shiftingshadows, 09 April 2022 - 10:00 AM.

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#19 Arathu

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Posted 09 April 2022 - 06:54 PM

This membrane of atmosphere in which we are immersed can, will, and does change.......as does the ecosystem with it which is our terrarium.....as does the solar system, and galaxy ...ad infinitum.... >???

 

I've NOT lived a completely cushy existence personally, most of my time so far has been tough actually, .......I bear scars from some pretty dark shit, not something to brag about at all......

 

Although admittedly I fully enjoy the crap out of it now....semi-cushy existence that is......but there has also been great joys and "good times" throughout......big old sine wave....

 

Nature is nature and doesn't need dominated, good luck with that by the way, or judged for that matter either......IME survival is a stark and ever changing reality......

 

I'm going down swinging....the way things are looking probably in furs and leather with a hemp T-shirt and drawers on... 

 

Eating fungus and legume pemmican.......If I ever loose the Woo-Woo of the mountains and streams and the ruggedness required to survive.....shoot me......

 

Talking to the mushrooms.....

 

A


Edited by Arathu, 09 April 2022 - 06:55 PM.

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#20 TVCasualty

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Posted 30 April 2022 - 11:09 AM

Anton had a video about this a couple of days ago, was going to post it but went looking to see if anyone else had posted anything about the discovery first and found this thread. I somehow missed it completely when it was first posted.

 

 

I really like Anton's channel and the way he presents topics. Brief and to the point, no fluff, ads, or long pointless intros. It's mostly about astronomy but covers science in general when the topic is interesting enough, and "talking" fungi certainly qualifies.

 

 

[Direct Link]

 

 

That said, we should be careful about ascribing causality to observed behaviors or phenomena too soon, like describing slime molds as "solving" a maze in those fascinating images we've all seen since similar behaviors can be seen in non-living objects too, such as digital "cellular automata" mentioned in the Chaos thread or these "self-assembling" (when exposed to an electric field) strings of ball bearings that look uncannily like those slime mold structures: https://twitter.com/...186668564860928

 

 

I don't think that the ball bearings are alive, but then deciding where to draw the line between life and non-life is not straightforward at all. Here's ~4 hours of some fascinating (no exaggeration) thoughts on the subject along with a good intro to Assembly Theory (we're going to be hearing a lot about Assembly Theory in the not too distant future I expect, though it might still just be "Assembly Hypothesis" at this point):

 

[Direct Link]

 

It is ostensibly about looking for aliens, but to look for, find, or recognize alien life forms that may be "alive" but in a sense that is currently beyond our imagination or comprehension requires an ability to identify what "life" is.

 

Assembly Theory offers what looks to me to be a very promising way to parse life from non-life, even in contexts where it doesn't appear in a form that is currently recognizable to us as "life."

 

We may already be covered up with alien signals but lack the ability to perceive them, just like how our awareness of the existence of microbes or the concept of galaxies required the invention of the microscope and the telescope.


Edited by TVCasualty, 30 April 2022 - 11:11 AM.





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