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Jason Cawley
Wolfram Science Group
Phoenix, AZ USA

Registered: Aug 2003
Posts: 712

Aspects of Plant Intelligence

A question raised by the PCE claim is - how sophisticated can the computations be, that go on in systems we do not usually think of as intelligent? It suggests the general answer is "arbitrarily sophisticated". A related subject that touches on this question and on adaptive definitions of intelligence is the "intelligence of plants" debate. I thought some here might be interested in the following provocative paper on that subject.

Aspects of Plant Intelligence

Anthony Trewavas

Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh

Published electronically: 9 May 2003 Annals of Botany 92: 1-20, 2003

Abstract - Intelligence is not a term commonly used when plants are discussed. However, I believe that this is an omission based not on a true assessment of the ability of plants to compute complex aspects of their environment, but solely a reflection of a sessile lifestyle. This article, which is admittedly controversial, attempts to raise many issues that surround this area. To commence use of the term intelligence with regard to plant behaviour will lead to a better understanding of the complexity of plant signal transduction and the discrimination and sensitivity with which plants construct images of their environment, and raises critical questions concerning how plants compute responses at the whole-plant level. Approaches to investigating learning and memory in plants will also be considered.


For further comment and debate see also -



I hope this is interesting.

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