In science, noise isn't just sound—it's anything that interferes with the norm. And, at least at the level right before it makes you totally insane, noise encourages organisms to adapt to their environment. In one of Meyer's earlier studies, his team monitored the effect of "noise" on ants, which are much more complex and interconnected organisms than slime mold, as they tried to get to their food. (Ants, by the way, like mealworms and lab-made nutrient-rich tonics. Yum.) The "noise" bothered the ants and reshaped their behavior, but it also encouraged them to make advantageous decisions faster, an important skill when you're constantly battling for resources.