Neural networks can learn and recognize subtle correlations in high dimensional inputs. However, neural networks are simply many-body systems with strong non-linearities and disordered interactions. Hence, many-body physical systems with similar interactions should be able to show neural network-like behavior. Here we show neural network-like behavior in the nucleation dynamics of interacting molecules with multiple stable crystalline phases. Using a combination of theory and experiments with DNA strands, we show how the physics of the system dictates relationships between the difficulty of the pattern recognition task solved, time taken and accuracy. This work shows that high dimensional pattern recognition and learning are not special to software algorithms but can be achieved by the collective dynamics of sufficiently disordered non-linear physical systems.