Extremely fast action potential recorded today in a plant in response to burning a leaf - sorry vegetable world ! Also learnt how to make agar electrodes, the agar forms a jelly which mixed with high concentration salt solution is conductive - will test these tomorrow
So action potentials may propogate more slowly in some plants - but there is probably evolutionary pressure for fast action potentials such as the ones found in the venus fly trap and others that have not been discovered yet. It is the opinion of the electrophysiologists at LINV that action potentials found in plants of 270m/s are anything but instrumention error however.
It is time to invest in a cheap usb dtat aquisition board and instrumentation amplifier - but which one ? I need to get the signal from the board to max msp . Plant > instrumentation amplifier > data aquisition board (DAQ) > MaxMSP
So if action potentials in animals and nerves are discreet values , like on off , or morse code, with stable voltages, whereas plant action potentials vary more in values what does this imply ? Are subtler ion fluxes in plants more important that such largescale voltage peaks as action potentials ?
This paper presents a brief overview of plant electrophysiology and looks at some interesting recent research in the area of plant neurobiology.
Action potentials have been detected both in the root systems of plants [i] and the mycelia of fungi [ii]. Some research has been conducted on electrical activity in the myzcorrhizal network [iii] Another paper showed “action potentials in fungal mycelia signalling the availability of nutrients at the tips of hyphal chords” [iv]. However despite this tantalising data , to the authors knowledge no research has been done on whether action potentials can cross from the root systems of plants to the mycelia and back to the roots of other trees via the Arbuscular mycorrhizal network. Converting the electrical potentials into light and surround sound installations by amplifying them and feeding them into a computer program in situ presents exciting opportunities to bridge the gap between the sciences and art. Spectacular audio visual installations that make tangible these hitherto unseen aspects of complex electrical plant activity have the potential to engage the public and alter the way they perceive the biosphere of which they form a part. The challenge for the artist is to create something they find aesthetic pleasingly yet at the same time ensure the signals are measured correctly , that the integrity of the signals are maintained .
[i]Baluška, František, et al. “Root apices as plant command centres: the unique ‘brain-like’status of the root apex transition zone.” Biologia (Bratisl.) 59.Suppl 13 (2004): 1-13.
[ii] Olsson, S, Hansson, BS (1995) Action potential-like activity found in fungal mycelia is sensitive to stimulation.. Naturwissenschaften 82: pp. 30-31
[iii]Berbara, R. L. L., et al. “Electrical currents associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal interactions.” New phytologist 129.3 (2006): 433-438.
[iv]Olsson, S., and B. S. Hansson. “Action potential-like activity found in fungal mycelia is sensitive to stimulation.” Naturwissenschaften 82.1 (1995): 30-31.
This paper focuses on the creative application of Wavefield synthesis and aims to provide useful information for sound artists and composers. It briefly describes the history and theory behind wavefield synthesis and the author’s construction of a 32 channel wavefield synthesis system. Technical and acoustical issues which are directly relevant to the creative application are discussed - full technical details are supplied in the appendices and video. The paper also briefly describes the application of different software packages and which ones are the most useful for creating effective soundscapes and audio illusions. The use of WFS spatialisation techniques for composition within the context of sound installation and a new approach to “augmented reality” are discussed as well as which sounds and techniques worked best with the system. The practical artistic advantages and disadvantages of WFS in relation to other techniques from the perspective of the artist are discussed. Experiments in combining WFS with other processing techniques such as granular synthesis and audio mosaicking are discussed. The paper also describes some of the cultural and artistic elements of a soundscape composition made on the system. The paper describes which effects and sounds were most successful in this composition and why, as well as cognitive factors that may affect the listener. Finally as part of the conclusion it describes potential future directions and how WFS could be integrated with other techniques to further develop new and unusual creative tools and ideas.
This paper describes an electronic musical instrument composed of wii controller components, a microphone and associated software, which uses ambisonics to spatialise granularised audio in 3 dimensions. The method of design, construction process, interactivity, software, background and aesthetics are discussed.