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Plants may not have brains, but they are as intelligent as humans. That’s a new finding by researchers at Cornell University, who concluded that plants are smart enough to detect nearby plants and even life-threatening situations such as an attack from an herbivore. The fact that some plants have the intellectual capacity for flexible and adaptive responses in real-time is one thing that should catch most people by surprise.

Plants Intelligence

Additionally, some plants have been found to respond to sound and, in some cases, store information that will be accessed later. The fact that some can communicate to one another and with particular animals also underlines a form of intelligence.

Nevertheless, the fact that plants have a vascular system similar to the central nervous system affirms the findings of the new study; the vascular system is capable of processing information that ensures the growing and thriving of plants, which adds to the layer of intelligence.

For instance, Goldenrods are plants that respond in a certain way when infested or eaten by pests. To protect themselves, the plants release chemicals that trick pests into thinking they are damaged and won’t be suitable for a meal. It’s the fact that once one plant releases the chemical, nearby plants also follow suit, releasing the same chemical in a bid to shield them from pest infestation that underscores intelligence.

Redefining Intelligence

Additionally, whenever neighboring plants detect that other goldenrods have been eaten by herbivores, they adapt and respond by growing faster to develop more complex defensive compounds to shield themselves from insect pests. The quick thinking and collaboration between the goldenrod plants underscores the level of intelligence and collaboration as one of the ways to protect them.

With the new findings among goldenrods, researchers are thinking of coming up with a new way of defining intelligence to make it inclusive to plants.  For a long time, intelligence has been defined using electrical signaling in living organisms, more so in animals and humans. The fact that the vascular system in plants works the same way as the central nervous system that works on electrical signals also signifies a form of intelligence.