CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, Oct. 2 (AP) - (Kyodo)—A group of Japanese researchers were among this year's winners of the Ig Nobel Prize for oddball science Thursday for discovering that a unicellular amoeboid organism can work out the shortest distance in a maze.
Toshiyuki Nakagaki, associate professor at Hokkaido University, professor Ryo Kobayashi of Hiroshima University, and Atsushi Tero, a researcher at the Japan Science and Technology Agency, were among the six joint winners of the prize in the cognitive science category.
The researchers' study was recognized for finding that despite having no brain or nerves, the organism, Physarum polycephalum, can compute the shortest route in a maze -- something even humans have a hard time doing.
At a ceremony at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre, Nakagaki expressed his thanks for the award, saying that despite conventional wisdom, the unicellular organism is actually smarter than we thought.
Those of us making the trek over to The Maize this month might hope to do as well :-)Japanese among Ig Nobel winners for study on maze-solving amoeboid