Can Plants Read Your Mind?
What do they Perceive?

Can plants read your mind? Well its been proven that some do. 

This may sound like something from a sci-fi movie, but it’s actually a real phenomenon. Scientists have discovered that certain plants, like the Mimosa Pudica (also called the 'sensitive plant') can actually  respond to human thoughts and feelings. When its 'sensitive' leaves are touched or exposed to loud noises, they curl up and droop. A few minutes later, they open up again.

This action is called thigmonasty and it occurs due to the plant’s sensitive nerve cells. It has been found that when the plant is exposed to human thoughts and feelings (with no action taken) its leaves will also react. (Interestingly, the plant reacts the same way to darkness, and will reopen when it is in the light.)

Scientists believe that this is because the plant is able to sense the electrical signals that are created by the human brain. It is thought that the plant is able to “read” these signals and respond accordingly. This means that when a person has a positive thought, the plant’s leaves will open up and expand, and when a person has a negative thought, the leaves will curl inwards and droop. Also notable is the fact that the curling inwards action costs the plant a great deal of energy, so it would only be done as a last chance, survival technique. The plant reacts to negative thoughts as if they are a direct threat to its existence.

This phenomenon has been studied extensively and the findings are fascinating. Not only does it show us the incredible connection between humans and plants, but it also proves that plants are far more intelligent than we previously thought. It’s also a great reminder that plants are sentient beings and should be treated with respect and kindness.

Which brings me to the original researcher of the question, "Can plants read your mind?"

Can plants read your mind...Clive Backster

Clive Backster was an ex-spook, who apparently thought torturing sentient beings in the name of knowledge was just fine.

His plant experiments have been subject to controversy due to the ethical considerations surrounding the use of plants in scientific experiments. While some argue that plants lack the capacity for consciousness and therefore do not experience pain or suffering, others believe that all living organisms, including plants, should be treated with respect and not subjected to unnecessary harm or stress. Ultimately, the ethics of Backster's plant experiments are a matter of debate and interpretation.

What he did

Clive Backster's claim to fame was his Backster Zone Comparison Technique, a methodology for conducting polygraphs, that is still widely used. One day, he decided to hook up his office plant to his lie detector.

If a human being is caught in a lie, their levels will spike or dip on the machine, because of anxiety. Backster wanted to make the plant 'anxious', so he decided to set one of its leaves on fire. But before he could even light a match, the polygraph registered an intense reaction by the houseplant. To Backster, the only answer was that it had read his mind.

He called this supposed plant psychic power, 'primary perception'. While real scientists were skeptical (mainly because the Backster Effect was not replicable) his theories were an instant pop culture hit.

Can plants read your mind, without a mind?

The only problem with plants reading your mind is that they have none of the physical attributes of a "mind" themselves. They have no central nervous system to feel or think with.

So it would seem impossible. 

However, think of some the things that parapsychologists believe can communicate, even without the physical apparatus...ghosts for one. Maybe reading minds does NOT depend on how these vibrations happen, just knowing that they do.

Plants seem to know their position relative to other things in their immediate space.  They don't have nerve cells like human beings, but they do have a system for sending electrical signals, and they also produce neurotransmitters, like dopamine, serotonin and other chemicals. Human brains use these to send signals.  No one really knows why plants produce neurotransmitters, but perhaps they are used in some way for processing information.

There is now a field of science called plant neurobiology (even though plants do not have neurons). Scientists in this field claim to have evidence that plants process and act on information from their surroundings. When a recording of caterpillars eating leaves is played near them, they react defensively by secreting certain hormones.

Plants react to recording of caterpillars eating them.Plants react to a recording of caterpillars eating them.

Other, more common plant reactions to their environment include:  shifting to get nearer to a source of water, avoiding root obstructions (before coming into contact with them) and turning towards the light.

A more uncommon understanding of their environment involves the use of memory. In another set of experiments, Monica Gagliano, found that mimosa plants stopped reacting, after the fifth or sixth time they were dropped. (The reaction was that their leaves would collapse.) So, the plants eventually were able to remember being dropped. and suffering no harm from that experience. They were then able to alter their innate response to that experience. In other words, they demonstrated, 'learning'.

It has also been found that plants produce sounds, both in the ultrasonic and in the lower frequency ranges. There are different frequencies of sound emissions based on the dryness of the plant's environment. Current thought is that electrical or chemical energy stimulates mechanical vibrations in cell walls to produce sound waves and acoustic emissions.

The point is, this is communication from plants that can be detected by animals. How farfetched is it really, to think that the direction of communication could also occur in reverse? If plants can send information, it seems likely they can also receive it. One way of receiving information is by reading minds. Therefore, the answer to, "Can plants read your mind?" is probably yes. 

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