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plants' intelligence (neurosensing)

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plants' intelligence (neurosensing)

Postby biba56 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:50 am

I watched an old but interesting documentary the other day, called The secret life of plants.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8kO5AF-lj4
In it, they show plants can sense electricity through air. They put a man and a plant on a poligraph and it could sense his feelings (fear). Also, it sensed when they killed some shrimp nearby. I'm wondering if there is any research going on about this today.
It is very interesting. For what purpose did it evolve? I figure, flow of electrons through air or surfaces can disturb plant cell's polarity (ion gradient), so the plant has some information about electrical particles in its environment. Okay, this is useful. What about your ideas?

The documentary then connects this sort of sensing with the Dogons, who know about Sirius' companion stars which are absolutely invisible to the naked eye.

So plants "know" about me?
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Postby JackBean » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:23 pm

I didn't watch it all (since nothing really happened in first three minutes), but based on commentaries, it's not really good-class.

Anyway, there is ongoing research on plant neurobiology. There was even journal called Plant neurobiology, but it changed into something like Signal transduction. Just look for plant neurobiology on Google and you will find plenty of articles.

BTW flowing electrons are beta radioactivity, so I highly doubt there were any electrons coming from that man. Did they attempt to measure the floating electricity? They could sense some stress chemicals though.
(and they do, but it usually originates from other plants)
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
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Re: plants' intelligence (neurosensing)

Postby DannyC » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:43 pm

Sorry to be the naysayer, but The Secret Life of Plants contained much more pseudoscience than science. Plants can't sense what we think, just as other people can't read minds. But this doesn't mean that plants don't have complex senses. Indeed, plants can see, smell, feel and even remember! This site gives some good examples http://www.whataplantknows.com/home/plant-senses.
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Re: plants' intelligence (neurosensing)

Postby biba56 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:01 pm

Actually, it's an interesting documentary. It gives you time to think about stuff. I think it's worth watching.
What I meant to ask with this topic was, if plants can react to people. If our emotions can affect them. But this would mean that we give some chemicals away through air - through breathing most likely. This could spark a reaction in the plant's huge chemical arsenal. But yeah, that's where it ends probably, since they don't have any machinery to process it, meaning they don't know about it.
Well, i googled a bit (plus your link, DannyC) and found out plants can indeed react to many environmental cues, not just to gravity or light. Well, they must be masters about it, since they stand still all the time and have nothing to do :) Some can, for example, distinguish between a relative and a member of other species.

As for electricity, wiki says this: "Plant cells can be electrically excitable and can display rapid electrical responses (action potentials) to environmental stimuli. These action potentials can influence processes such as actin-based cytoplasmic streaming, plant organ movements, wound responses, respiration, photosynthesis and flowering.[2][3][4]" They have an electron transport chain so they must be used to having electrons around. Does anybody know more about action potentials in plants and how do they use electricity as a sense?

That one about flowing electrons was kinda stupid, I apologize :) But stress chemicals, that could be it...through breathing? No, they didn't measure the floating electricity. They put a man and a plant on analog polygraphs, which drew their activity on the same sheet of paper. And when the man showed some activity, the plant right afterwards did too. But they didn't go into technical details, unfortunately. You should watch the documentary, at least till part 6, because they do several more experiments.

The one about the Dogons was interesting, too, but that's probably for another discussion...
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