Do Plants Pay Attention? A Possible Phenomenological-Empirical Approach
Parise, A. G., De Toledo, G. R. A., de Carvalho Oliveira, T. F., Souza, G. M., Castiello, U., Gagliano, M., & Marder, M Artículo en revista 2022 Grupo Consolidado
Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Attention is the important ability of flexibly controlling limited cognitive resources. It ensures that organisms engage with the activities and stimuli that are relevant to their survival. Despite the cognitive capabilities of plants and their complex behavioural repertoire, the study of attention in plants has been largely neglected. In this article, we advance the hypothesis that plants are endowed with the ability of attaining attentive states. We depart from a transdisciplinary basis of philosophy, psychology, physics and plant ecophysiology to propose a framework that seeks to explain how plant attention might operate and how it could be studied empirically. In particular, the phenomenological approach seems particularly important to explain plant attention theoretically, and plant electrophysiology seems particularly suited to study it empirically. We propose the use of electrophysiological techniques as a viable way for studying it, and we revisit previous work to support our hypothesis. We conclude this essay with some remarks on future directions for the study of plant attention and its implications to botany.