Zoocentrism in the weeds Cultivating plant models for cognitive yield

" In fact, there is a substantial body of rigorous scientific evidence which shows that what is widely regarded as animal cognition is also found in plants, down to its physiological and behavioral basis. We suggest here that at least one reason the preponderance of evidence is largely disregarded, downplayed, or outright ignored is due to the conserved momentum of ancient history." {Credits 1}

" ... the components within the organismic boundary must be organized in a particular way (a ‘design’) for ‘real’ cognition or its constitutive processes such as memory to emerge. ... according to controlled experiments, using models in part based on invertebrate and vertebrate neurons, even unicellular organisms can remember their spatial trajectories (Kunita et al. 2016)." {Credits 1}

" More recently, molecular and other subcellular aspects of LTP have been identified that appear to subserve memory not only in animals, but also (homologously) in plants, although more research is needed (Michmizos and Hilioti 2019)." {Credits 1}

" At the physiological level, the cellular mechanics and biochemistry of animal muscle action and the directed, coordinated contraction and expansion action of plants are based on near-identical molecular and mechanically similar subcellular processes (Gorshkova et al. 2018; Simons 1992). Proprioceptive sensing for bodily self-positioning is found in plants as well as animals (Bastien et al. 2013). As suggested above with the generalizable subcellular basis of memory." {Credits 1}

" J.C. Bose continued biophysical and electrophysiological research on Mimosa and other plants (Bose 1907, 1913, 1926, 1928). As he observed in The Nervous Mechanism of Plants (Bose 1926), we cannot but acknowledge the “nervous character of the impulse transmitted to a distance” in plants. While Bose came to such conclusions decades before most others, subsequent research has borne out many of his once controversial claims (Shepherd 2005). Notably, Bose showed that plants have a coherent network of electrically excitable tissues that play a similar role to that of animal nervous systems." {Credits 1}

" ... brains are a morphological feature whose functional substrate is primarily understood in electrochemical terms. Thus, it is unproblematic to note that some aspects of brainbound phenomena may be mirrored in less centralized morphological features. In this light, it is notable that there is great diversity in plant electrical events, with some appearing when evoked and others spontaneously, displaying a range of fluctuation profiles that include self-propagating and localized activity." {Credits 1}

" A coordinated bioelectrical network is effectively comprised of membranes of plant cells along the vascular system, which stretches throughout the plant body in the form of vascular bundles of phloem, xylem and cambium (Fromm and Lautner 2006). By measuring the overall electrical excitability of the cellular pathways connecting plant receptor and effector sites (Trebacz et al. 2006), a common metric can be established with animal innervation." {Credits 1}

" In sum, the cognitive process-supporting machinery most commonly associated with—and typically uniquely attributed to—animals, was identified in plants, not only in the ancient world by Parmenides and Theophrastus, but also by experimental science from the early twentieth century to the present. Such empirical findings on the complex bioelectrical networks that inhere in plants, and can be shown to facilitate aspects of cognitive behavior, support the argument for counting plants as straightforwardly cognitive." {Credits 1}

" in at least two consequential cases—root-mediated competitor interaction, and leaf-mediated predator interaction—plant anatomy supports sensation, and behavioral evidence indicates they ‘discharge a residue’ for their ‘defense and preservation’." {Credits 1}

Etc, etc, ..

{Credits 1} 🎪 Linson, A., Calvo, P. Zoocentrism in the weeds? Cultivating plant models for cognitive yield. Biol Philos 35, 49 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10539-020-09766-y. © 2020 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Last modified on 06-Sep-20

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