The 2nd International Workshop on Physarum Transport Networks
Just over two years have passed since PhysNet 2015 where a bunch of Physarum enthusiast met and discussed their favourite object. This year we meet in Bremen to engage in ongoing and new project with and about Physarum polycephalum. There is an exciting line-up of presentations. We will learn about genetics, cell biology and physics of Physarum. Theories on cell motility, network dynamics, signal propagation, and decision-making provide the basis for basal cognition, optimization and behavioural traits. Two SciArt talks underline the role of art in scientific projects and, vice versa, describe the unusual inspiration which emanates from an artistic view leading to unexpected insights.
Beyond physarum, the amazingly complex behaviour of the slime mold points to even more significant and exciting universal mechanisms of decision making. Quite breathtakingly, there are reports that physarum exhibits behaviour which can be discussed using the language of modern psychology. Unraveling these mechanisms, which seem to be independent of the underlaying system, is one of the major goals of scholars gathering in Bremen in order to discuss and exchange their results and new ideas. Amazingly, Physarum accomplishes its tricks without a nervous system and with no brain or central neuronal coordination unit. Given its simplicity, we may understand some general principles of life and ultimately find out about ourselves by studying single cell amoebae dancing around in the Petri dish.