Plants are not conscious, whether you can ‘sedate’ them or not

Plants are not conscious, whether you can ‘sedate’ them or not
 This article was published by Massive. Read more cool science at  www.massivesci.com   Photo credits:  David Midgely|Flicker

This article was published by Massive. Read more cool science at www.massivesci.com

Photo credits: David Midgely|Flicker

About two weeks ago, the New York Times ran a story on a scientific paper about how anesthetics stopped motion in plants with a provocative headline for readers and scientists: “Sedate a Plant, and It Seems to Lose Consciousness. Is It Conscious?” 

The article considers the idea at length, talking about “signs of plant intelligence” and comparisons with animals.

But the answer, unreservedly, is “no.”

The question of plant consciousness, intelligence, or cognition, has excited and exasperated scientists for more than a century. The very first suggestion of conscious plants was raised by the acclaimed Indian physicist and biologist, J.C. Bose, who first demonstrated in the early 20th century that plants moved in response to various stimuli. Bose is more famously known for his pioneering work on the modern radio, but in a series of experiments reported in his book, Response in the Living and Non-Living, he performed very similar research to what the Times described.

 

Continue reading...