Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 24 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
Sci Tech    H4'ed 8/31/19

The Sophistication of Information Processing in Plants

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   11 comments, In Series: Daily Inspiration
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Josh Mitteldorf
Become a Fan
  (42 fans)

Monica Gagliano tells the story of her PhD research as a marine biologist, studying the evolutionary ecology of tropical fish. Day after day with a scuba tank, she became a familiar to her subjects so that the fish had no fear of her, and came right up to her face. She knew them intimately, but when the experiment was over, her plan was to capture and kill them, measuring hormone levels and gathering all those biochemical data you can only get by cutting and grinding them. That last morning, when she was planning to "sacrifice" the fish in the afternoon, none of them would come near her. Somehow they knew, and Monica knew that her idea of subject and object as a scientist must change.

Gagliano went on to study plants, which she says are also sentient beings. In her inaugural experiment, she cut off all the channels by which one plant is known to communicate with another: no chemical exchange, no light exchange, no sound-and still the plants behaved differently depending on which plants were growing next door. Somehow, the plants knew

Monica Gagliano is professor at University of Western Australia
Extended Youtube interview
Book for non-academic audience: Thus Spoke the Plant
Academic book: The Language of Plants
NYTimes article

Plants talk to one another
Plants talk to one another
(Image by 123RF.com)
  Details   DMCA

 

Well Said 1   News 1   Touching 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Josh Mitteldorf Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Josh Mitteldorf, a senior editor at OpEdNews, blogs on aging at http://JoshMitteldorf.ScienceBlog.com. Read how to stay young at http://AgingAdvice.org.
Educated to be an astrophysicist, he has branched out from there to mathematical (more...)
 

Related Topic(s): , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Twitter Bans The Donald

Artificial Earthquakes

Cold Fusion: Tangible Hope in an Age of Despair

New Scientific Study: Smoking Gun Evidence of 9/11 Explosives in WTC Dust

PayPal cuts off Bradley Manning Legal Defense; Backs Off under Grass Roots Pressure

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

5 people are discussing this page, with 11 comments


Daniel Geery

Become a Fan
Author 1198

(Member since Jul 9, 2009), 69 fans, 385 articles, 3580 quicklinks, 16784 comments, 180 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

"The Secret Life of Trees" establishes this concept beyond shadow of a doubt. So does living with any dog I ever knew.

Submitted on Saturday, Aug 31, 2019 at 3:26:52 PM

Share Comment
  Recommend  (6+)
Help
 

Josh Mitteldorf

Become a Fan Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Sep 14, 2006), 42 fans, 596 articles, 379 quicklinks, 984 comments, 11 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

The thing that opens new vistas in our thinking is that we have no idea how plants are doing this. The only scientific theory of learning and information transduction involves neural connections and synapses becoming easier to cross with each reinforcing stimulus. But plants have no neurons and no synapses. Science has no theories of how plants can be learning or processing information to make decisions.

Submitted on Saturday, Aug 31, 2019 at 6:39:55 PM

Share Comment
  Recommend  (3+)
Help
 

Josh Mitteldorf

Become a Fan Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Sep 14, 2006), 42 fans, 596 articles, 379 quicklinks, 984 comments, 11 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

In one experiment that Gagliano describes, she trains a pea plant with classical conditioning, just like Pavlov's dog. Just as Pavlov taught dogs to associate the (arbitrary) sound of a bell with the meaning "dinner is served", Gagliano taught pea plants to associate the (arbitrary) sensation of breeze from a fan with the availability of a light source.

Before she conditioned the pea plants, they would always grow toward wherever the light was yesterday. She conditioned them by blowing from one direction, then shining a gro-light from that same direction. After conditioning, the plants hedged their bets, sometimes growing toward where the light was yesterday, sometimes pursuing the direction where the breeze was coming from.

Submitted on Saturday, Aug 31, 2019 at 6:45:50 PM

Share Comment
  Recommend  (3+)
Help
 
Indent

Daniel Geery

Become a Fan
Author 1198

(Member since Jul 9, 2009), 69 fans, 385 articles, 3580 quicklinks, 16784 comments, 180 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


Reply to Josh Mitteldorf:   New Content

It is The Secret Life of Trees. Peter Wohlleben. This most dedicated forester does describe many ways that trees actually communicate. Well worth a look. I haven't seen trees the same ever since.

Submitted on Saturday, Aug 31, 2019 at 9:01:59 PM

Share Comment
  Recommend  (4+)
Help
 

Derryl Hermanutz

Become a Fan
Author 64335

(Member since Apr 27, 2011), 50 fans, 24 articles, 1 quicklinks, 1501 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

I used to think that this kind of information transmission and reception must be via electromagnetism (wave energy). Light is electromagnetism. But she cut off plant's light communication and they still communicated. For this and other reasons I now think there is some kind of "subtle" energy medium, invisible to our instruments, via which such communication takes place.

I still believe in "causation": something cannot happen without a cause; and the causal force or energy must be transmitted via some medium from the sender to the recipient. For information to have causal power, it must be embodied within some form of energy that can generate the effect in the recipient. Psychic phenomena - like telepathy, telekinesis, distant viewing, and deja vu (where you had experienced a future event in a dream state; then later experienced the same event in physical life) - probably work with one or another of these kinds of subtle energies that are invisible to modern physics but are nonetheless "real" and causally potent. Our consciousness itself - as a being made of energy - may be made of and work with this kind of stuff. In the late 19th century, Tesla and others discovered and worked with forms of energy whose existence was later denied and ignored by mainstream physics. One is orgon or od energy, described as a subtle electric fluid that permeates the universe. Astrophysics is on the verge of reviving "the ether", which may be this same subtle electric fluid that has both electric and magnetic properties and functions. Plants communicate with each other. Animals sense intentions. These are not "theories". These are observations of things that are actually happening. Now it's time for science to stop denying reality and try to figure out how these things "work".

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 1, 2019 at 10:03:56 PM

Share Comment
  Recommend  (2+)
Help
 

David William Pear

Become a Fan Follow Me on Twitter

(Member since Nov 29, 2014), 49 fans, 80 articles, 369 quicklinks, 3725 comments
Facebook Page Twitter Page Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

As someone who used to be a fisherman, but not a catcherman, I can attest to fish being smarter than me.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 2, 2019 at 3:17:54 PM

Share Comment
  Recommend  (2+)
Help
 
Indent

Daniel Geery

Become a Fan
Author 1198

(Member since Jul 9, 2009), 69 fans, 385 articles, 3580 quicklinks, 16784 comments, 180 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


Reply to David William Pear:   New Content

That's why I quit fishing long ago. Those tiny brains were much brighter than mine.

Submitted on Monday, Sep 2, 2019 at 10:09:09 PM

Share Comment
  Recommend  (1+)
Help
 

Josh Mitteldorf

Become a Fan Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Sep 14, 2006), 42 fans, 596 articles, 379 quicklinks, 984 comments, 11 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

There is abundant evidence that humans have psychic powers, that we know things without any identified physical mechanism the information could have entered through our senses. In this sense, it is established that there are other channels of awareness that are not mediated by brains or neurons. Since plants don't have brains or neurons, their perception might be more like our ESP than like our 5 senses.

Submitted on Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 at 1:11:18 AM

Share Comment
  Recommend  (1+)
Help
 
Indent

Daniel Geery

Become a Fan
Author 1198

(Member since Jul 9, 2009), 69 fans, 385 articles, 3580 quicklinks, 16784 comments, 180 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


Reply to Josh Mitteldorf:   New Content

How would our brains have a clue about these things?


They are an infinitesimal sliver of the universe, based on anything this particular brain can discern.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019 at 10:00:59 PM

Share Comment
  Recommend  (1+)
Help
 

Chuck Nafziger

Become a Fan
Author 24101

(Member since Oct 12, 2008), 15 fans, 6 articles, 14 quicklinks, 2057 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

How about fungi? "The Secret Lives of Trees" says that they are huge in plant communication in startling ways. In times of stress, they transfer nutrients from big healthy trees to other plants around and somehow understand to preferentially feed the mother tree's offspring.

I feel better since I put a priority on the communication instead of trying to understand how the communications with plants and animals work. Animals around me are friendlier, plants tell me what they need. Take away the barrier that says that humans are superior and the communication becomes obvious.


I quit believing that science explains things when I was in second or third grade, circa 1951. I took a map up to my teacher and showed how Africa and Europe fit closely the shape of the Americas. She agreed, but said "Scientists say this is coincidental." Plate tectonics, obvious to a seven year old, were off limits in science of those days. All my life I have watched science change the definition of intelligence to stay ahead of what could not be denied in renegade lab studies. I am glad plant intelligence is creeping into mainstream science. It has been obvious to those who look and listen but hidden from those who put a priority on "kill and take apart."


The arrogance and rigidity of science, meant to make it repeatable and politically acceptable, hide many very important things from it.

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019 at 7:01:00 PM

Share Comment
  Recommend  (1+)
Help
 

Derryl Hermanutz

Become a Fan
Author 64335

(Member since Apr 27, 2011), 50 fans, 24 articles, 1 quicklinks, 1501 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

I used to think that this kind of information transmission and reception must be via electromagnetism (wave energy). Light is electromagnetism. But she cut off plant's light communication and they still communicated. For this and other reasons I now think there is some kind of "subtle" energy medium, invisible to our instruments, via which such communication takes place.

I still believe in "causation": something cannot happen without a cause; and the causal force or energy must be transmitted via some medium from the sender to the recipient. For information to have causal power, it must be embodied within some form of energy that can generate the effect in the recipient. Psychic phenomena - like telepathy, telekinesis, distant viewing, and deja vu (where you had experienced a future event in a dream state; then later experienced the same event in physical life) - probably work with one or another of these kinds of subtle energies that are invisible to modern physics but are nonetheless "real" and causally potent. Our consciousness itself - as a being made of energy - may be made of and work with this kind of stuff. In the late 19th century, Tesla and others discovered and worked with forms of energy whose existence was later denied and ignored by mainstream physics. One is orgon or od energy, described as a subtle electric fluid that permeates the universe. Astrophysics is on the verge of reviving "the ether", which may be this same subtle electric fluid that has both electric and magnetic properties and functions. Plants communicate with each other. Animals sense intentions. These are not "theories". These are observations of things that are actually happening. Now it's time for science to stop denying reality and try to figure out how these things "work".

Submitted on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 10:18:37 PM

Share Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Help