Newsweek: Fungi may communicate in a similar way to human language

Newsweek: Fungi may communicate in a similar way to human language We should not expect quick results. We have not yet deciphered the language of cats and dogs despite living with them for centuries, and research into the electrical connections of fungi is still in its infancy.  Newsweek reports that fungi have a language with which they communicate with each other similar to human language, and cases have been recorded of them having conversations.  Over the past decade, she said, researchers have found evidence that plants are able to communicate, with research published in 2019 indicating that they "scream" when cut. Fungi are neither plants nor animals, but belong to their own kingdom. These include yeast, mold and mushrooms.  Electrical activity spikes In a report, the American magazine quoted Andrew Adamatsky, from the Unconventional Computing Laboratory at the University of the West of England, Bristol, that he began searching for a language for fungi out of curiosity. He had previously found that sticky mold exhibits distinct cognitive abilities through spikes of electrical activity, so he wanted to see if the fungi could do the same.  In his current position, Adamatsky creates device prototypes using biological, chemical and physical substrates. If he wanted to make a computing device based on fungi, he would need to understand how to transmit information with them.  Another part of his job involves creating building structures from substrates that have been colonized by fungi. "Some parts of the substrate include living fungi that will be responsible for sensing environmental clues and making decisions about the environment." This will be done by electrical activity, Adamatsky told NEWSWEEK.  Vocabulary: electric bumps In his latest study, Adamatsky collected 4 different types of fungi: ghost fungi, enoki fungi, split gill fungi and caterpillar fungi. He stimulated samples with electrodes, and recorded changes in electrical activity.  His findings , published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, showed large droplets of what could be called electrical spikes that could be compared to neurons .  Adamatsky then compared these elevations with those seen in human language, finding similarities, and then said, "I've reconstructed the possible syntax of fungal language."  The study showed how the protrusions resembled a vocabulary of about 50 words, with word lengths similar to those found in human language. There were differences in linguistic complexity between species, with a larger lexicon for ghost fungi and split gill fungi.  Fungi can say several things, Adamatsky said. They may tell each other about their presence in the same way that wolves howl, or they can tell other parts of the fungi about the presence of attractants or repellents. He said there was another option as well: They say nothing.  Research directions In the study, Adamatsky said there are several directions of research where linguistic differences between species can be examined, as well as the possibility of an innate grammar system. He said more fungi would have to be examined to understand the difference in language.  The most important direction of future research is to carry out a comprehensive and detailed classification of innate words (Shutterstock) "Perhaps the most important direction of future research is to undertake a comprehensive and detailed classification of innate words, derived from the spikes," he wrote.  "Currently, we have classified a word based only on the number of frets in the corresponding trains. This is in fact a primitive classification which is like interpreting binary words only by their sum of bits and not the exact configurations of 1 and 0."  "However, we should not expect quick results. We have not yet deciphered the language of cats and dogs despite living with them for centuries, and research into the electrical connections of fungi is still in its infancy," he stressed.

We should not expect quick results. We have not yet deciphered the language of cats and dogs despite living with them for centuries, and research into the electrical connections of fungi is still in its infancy.

Newsweek reports that fungi have a language with which they communicate with each other similar to human language, and cases have been recorded of them having conversations.

Over the past decade, she said, researchers have found evidence that plants are able to communicate, with research published in 2019 indicating that they "scream" when cut. Fungi are neither plants nor animals, but belong to their own kingdom. These include yeast, mold and mushrooms.

Electrical activity spikes
In a report, the American magazine quoted Andrew Adamatsky, from the Unconventional Computing Laboratory at the University of the West of England, Bristol, that he began searching for a language for fungi out of curiosity. He had previously found that sticky mold exhibits distinct cognitive abilities through spikes of electrical activity, so he wanted to see if the fungi could do the same.

In his current position, Adamatsky creates device prototypes using biological, chemical and physical substrates. If he wanted to make a computing device based on fungi, he would need to understand how to transmit information with them.

Another part of his job involves creating building structures from substrates that have been colonized by fungi. "Some parts of the substrate include living fungi that will be responsible for sensing environmental clues and making decisions about the environment." This will be done by electrical activity, Adamatsky told NEWSWEEK.

Vocabulary: electric bumps
In his latest study, Adamatsky collected 4 different types of fungi: ghost fungi, enoki fungi, split gill fungi and caterpillar fungi. He stimulated samples with electrodes, and recorded changes in electrical activity.

His findings , published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, showed large droplets of what could be called electrical spikes that could be compared to neurons .

Adamatsky then compared these elevations with those seen in human language, finding similarities, and then said, "I've reconstructed the possible syntax of fungal language."

The study showed how the protrusions resembled a vocabulary of about 50 words, with word lengths similar to those found in human language. There were differences in linguistic complexity between species, with a larger lexicon for ghost fungi and split gill fungi.

Fungi can say several things, Adamatsky said. They may tell each other about their presence in the same way that wolves howl, or they can tell other parts of the fungi about the presence of attractants or repellents. He said there was another option as well: They say nothing.

Research directions
In the study, Adamatsky said there are several directions of research where linguistic differences between species can be examined, as well as the possibility of an innate grammar system. He said more fungi would have to be examined to understand the difference in language.

The most important direction of future research is to carry out a comprehensive and detailed classification of innate words (Shutterstock)
"Perhaps the most important direction of future research is to undertake a comprehensive and detailed classification of innate words, derived from the spikes," he wrote.

"Currently, we have classified a word based only on the number of frets in the corresponding trains. This is in fact a primitive classification which is like interpreting binary words only by their sum of bits and not the exact configurations of 1 and 0."

"However, we should not expect quick results. We have not yet deciphered the language of cats and dogs despite living with them for centuries, and research into the electrical connections of fungi is still in its infancy," he stressed.
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