Mushrooms can talk with each other

Fungi exhibit oscillations of extracellular electrical potential recorded via differential electrodes inserted into a substrate colonized by mycelium or directly into sporocarps.

This study analyses the 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 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.

The research team demonstrates 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 generates the most complex sentences.

Read the complete research at www.royalsocietypublishing.org.

Adamatzky Andrew, (2022) Language of fungi derived from their electrical spiking activityR. Soc. open sci.9211926211926http://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.211926 


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