Can Plants 'Remember' And 'React' Like Humans?

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A team of Scientists led by Professor Karpinski at Warsaw's University of Life Sciences recently revealed that they had conducted tests, which proved plants can remember and process information, just like human beings.

To test the theory, the team conducted several experiments. They started with shining a white light on just one plant leaf. To their astonishment, they noticed that the entire plant somehow received the signal and, responded to it via a chain of chemical reactions - similar to how the human nervous system works. Even more interesting was that the chemical reaction continued, long after the light was turned off, leading the scientists to conclude that plants have a short-term memory.

The team then performed another series of tests where they exposed the plant to three different colors of light - red, blue and white.

They noticed that the chemical reaction to each light was different, leading them to suspect that plants are 'smart' enough to use different information to stimulate different kinds of protective chemical reactions.

To verify that, the team conducted a third set of experiments whereby they shone different colored lights for an hour and then injected the plant with a virus or bacteria. In each case, the plant was able to resist, suggesting that it used the light to build immunity. However, when they infected the plant without exposing it to any light, it was unable to fight back.

The team believes that the varying reactions to different lights is evidence that plants are smart enough to figure out what season it is, based on the natural light that reflects on it and build up different kinds of immunity. According to Professor Karpinski, this explains how plants are able to survive through severely cold winters or hot summers.

However, not everyone agrees with the team's conclusions - Elizabeth Van Volkenburgen, a botanist at the University of Washington, says that while plants definitely have very sophisticated systems, to say that they possess human-like intelligence is a little far-fetched! What do you think? Be sure to let us know, by adding your comments below.

sources: BBC.co.uk, Popsi.com, Scientificamerican.com

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105 Comments
  • haover 3 years
    nice
    • idkover 4 years
      nice
      • vampire diariesover 4 years
        I think the artical was very helpful and it was cool and i love all typs of plants and flowers.
        • wackycathy
          wackycathyover 6 years
          coool
          • puertorico
            puertoricoover 7 years
            This article is filled with intriguing facts. This is cool....! :-)
            • puertorico
              puertoricoover 7 years
              This article has very intriguing facts. I never knew plants could react and remember like humans.
              • Baby Neyover 7 years
                plants do posses human life intelligence because in each case the plant was able to resist suggesting that it used the light to build immunity.
                • Mr.Orangeover 7 years
                  My comment has some grammatical errors please forgive me.
                  • Mr.Orangeover 7 years
                    This topic in science is very arguable for skeptics out there they have a good point when it comes to that plants do not act like humans. But it also not proved right or wrong so honestly it could go anywhere.
                    • christianabout 8 years
                      One fact I found was that the plants are smart to use diffrent information