Biosemiotics is the idea that all life is involved in meaning making. It has been defined as ‘the study of distinctions that make organisms, what they recognize, what they intend, and what they know’. This happens at the level of single-celled organisms, which can collect information and make decisions. The plasmodium of the slime mould Physarum polycephalum, for example, is an amoeba-like cell with some surprising abilities. When presented with a maze in the lab, it can find the shortest route through it in a way that would be impossible were it only to be responding to basic environmental signals with behavioural reflexes. You could say that the plasmodium has its own perception of the world, composed of a wide array of information collected from the environment, which it evaluates and uses to make decisions for future behaviour.
PLANTA SAPIENS, Paco Calvo & Natalie Lawrence