Neurobiologist from the University of Florence: ‘Plants have our five senses and fifteen more’

Neurobiologist from the University of Florence: ‘Plants have our five senses and fifteen more’

The plants feel?

Much more than what animals feel. And it is not my opinion or perception, it is scientific evidence.

You are not enlightened.

No. We know that they perceive electrical changes, the magnetic field, the chemical gradient, the presence of pathogens ...

Hey, come ...?

Plants have our five senses and fifteen more. They don't have eyes and ears like we do, but they perceive all gradations of light and sound vibrations.

And do you like music?

Certain frequencies, especially the low ones (between 100 Hz and 500 Hz), favor the germination of seeds and the growth of plants towards the source of that sound, which is equivalent to natural frequencies such as running water, but talking or singing to plants is wasting time.

Are there sounds underground?

The roots have been found to produce sound and are able to perceive it. This suggests the existence of an underground communication route.

They also don't have a nose.

Their smell and taste are very sensitive. They perceive chemical molecules, it is their mode of communication, each smell is a message. And they are tactful, it is enough to see in fast motion how a climbing plant feels.

And it says that they communicate?

They communicate with other plants of the same species through volatile chemical molecules, sending messages of danger, for example. If an insect is eating the leaves, the plant instantly produces certain molecules that spread for miles and warn that an attack is underway.

And how do they defend themselves?

Of many ways. They can increase their poisonous molecules or produce indigestible proteins for the insect. Many plants when eaten by an insect emit certain substances to attract other insects to prey on it.

That is interspecies communication.

Plants produce many chemical molecules whose sole purpose is to manipulate the brain of animals, in this context drugs are inscribed.

An example…

Recent studies show that a flowering orange or lemon tree acts differently depending on the amount of pollen carried by the insect. If it carries a lot of pollen, it increases the amount of caffeine in the nectar to activate your brain, so that it remembers that plant and returns. If it's low on pollen, cut out the caffeine.

Vegetable intelligence?

If intelligence is the ability to solve problems, plants are capable of responding appropriately to external and internal stimuli, that is, they are aware of what they are and what surrounds them.

That's a lot!

We have ignored how 99.7% of life on the planet works and we cannot afford it because our dependence on the plant kingdom includes - in addition to air, food and drugs - energy (fossil fuels are organic deposits).

We do not know 90 percent of the plants.

In their evolution, plants have produced millions of solutions that are very different from those that animals have produced. Until now, man has based his technology on how we are made: a command center and a hierarchy of organs, and this is how our societies, governments, machines are organized ...

There is another world to be inspired by.

Studying plants will give us an enormous amount of technological possibilities. For example, networks: an internet network and a set of roots are very similar. But plants are living networks, imagine what we can learn from them.

Are they altruistic?

They compete with other species and cooperate if they are of the same clan. But there are some extraordinary examples in which we can speak of a high degree of altruism. There is a very beautiful investigation that was done four years ago in Canada.

Tell me.

A large fir was isolated from access to water, and the surrounding fir trees passed its nutrients to it for years so that it would not die. Plants are social organisms as sophisticated and evolved as we are.

Do they take care of their offspring?

In plants we observe the parental care that we observe in the most evolved animals. In a dense forest, for a newborn tree to acquire a certain height to be able to photosynthesize and be self-sufficient, at least ten or fifteen years must pass during which it will be fed and cared for by its family.

Where do they have the brain?

Neurons are the only cells in animals that produce and transmit electrical signals. We could say that the whole plant is brain.

* Stefano Mancuso, a plant neurobiologist at the University of Florence, founded and today directs the International Plant Neurobiology Laboratory.

The vanguard

Video: The Five Senses. The Dr. Binocs Show. Educational Videos For Kids (September 2021).