Sentient Nature of Plants: Memory and Awareness | Plant Consciousness Commentary

Sentient Nature of Plants: Memory and Awareness

In this chapter from “Sensory Biology of Plants” by Sudhir Sopory and Tanushri Kaul, we discuss yet another exploration of whether or not plants possess a form of sentient nature. And if they do, can it be consciousness or some more rudimentary form of awareness?

The authors discuss the intricate molecular mechanisms plants have developed to perceive changes in their environment and adapt for survival and reproduction. This includes the use of plant “memory” to rapidly adjust to stress and bolster defense mechanisms.

The debate stems from whether the responsive behavior of plants can be classified as a form of awareness or consciousness. Invariably, we walk through parallels to sensory behaviors observed in the animal kin-home, which basically show the same behaviors through different mechanisms. So is this enough for the authors to confidently call plants conscious?

Topics Covered about sentient nature:

  • The nature of consciousness
  • Biological mechanisms for sensing the environment
  • Detailed research into consciousness across kin-homes
  • Debate on whether Descartes and Aristotle were right or wrong in their designation of only humans capable of consciousness.

Commentary on sentient nature in the Naturally Conscious Community:

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Sopory, S., Kaul, T. (2019). Sentient Nature of Plants: Memory and Awareness. In: Sopory, S. (eds) Sensory Biology of Plants. Springer, Singapore. 

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