While different definitions and criteria of sentience may lead to different conclusions, there is a growing body of scientific research that explores the possibility of plant cognition, communication and consciousness.
Some researchers argue that plants are capable of displaying flexible and goal-directed behavior, responding to various stimuli and integrating different aspects of their experience into a whole. They suggest that plants may have a form of subjective awareness that does not require a brain or a nervous system. They also propose that plants have social lives and can interact with other plants and animals in sophisticated ways.
Daniel Chamovitz is the director of the Manna Center for Plant Biosciences at Tel Aviv University and the author of the book “What a Plant Knows,” where he reveals “that plant and human biology is much closer than has ever been understood.”
Monica Gagliano is a research associate professor at the University of Western Australia and the author of “Thus Spoke the Plant,” and she has conducted experiments that suggest plants can learn, remember, and make decisions.
And Stefano Mancuso – a professor of plant neurobiology at the University of Florence and the founder of the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology – has investigated how plants communicate with each other and with other organisms, and how they exhibit collective intelligence.
But not all scientists agree with this view. Some criticize the use of terms like intelligence, learning, memory and consciousness to describe plant behavior, as they may imply human-like mental processes that are not supported by evidence. They also point out that plants lack the neural structures and biochemical pathways that are associated with animal sentience. They argue that plant perception is more accurately explained by physiological mechanisms that allow plants to adapt to their environment.