Do plants have cognition?

This Nautilus article presents some research suggesting two key points:

  1. The representational theory of the mind might be wrong
  2. Plant cognition might exist

Given how HBO’s The Last of Us uses a fungal network in the early episodes, I thought this article might be of interest to other writers.

1 Like

It’s fiction, but if one is interested in the exploration of the diversity of intellects that might exists out there, I really enjoyed Sue Burke’s Semiosis (and for more reasons than just that question). One does not need to travel to an alien planet to find vastly different forms of intelligence.

3 Likes

Sounds interesting.
I just grabbed it from the library. :slight_smile:

Also fiction, but Richard Powers’s book The Overstory explores (among other things) the connections among trees and other beings in the forest biome.

1 Like

And then there’s octopus cognition. Maybe not as alien as plants, but definitely different from us (and better documented than plants): https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-mind-of-an-octopus/

(And yes, the representational model is almost certainly wrong with regard to human intelligence.)

3 Likes

Just adding some recent books that might be of interest:

4 Likes

And

2 Likes

While the idea that plants can communicate is appealing, at present the evidence is scant. A Feb 14, 2023 article in The Conversation (The Conversation: In-depth analysis, research, news and ideas from leading academics and researchers.) entitled "Do trees really stay in touch via a ‘wood-wide web’? Here’s what the evidence says" summarizes some of the concerns. That article refers to a more formal assessment printed in ‘nature ecology & evolution’ called “Positive citation bias and overinterpreted results lead to misinformation on common mycorrhizal networks in forests.” published on Feb 13, 2023.
I think we are massively ignorant about these issues.

1 Like