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Do plants think? © Getty Images

Do plants think?

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Sadly, you won’t find ponderous plants like Treebeard the Ent from "Lord of the Rings" in the forest.

Asked by: Ben Chelski, Colchester

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Plants don’t have a central nervous system, so thought (as we normally define it) isn’t possible. But plants can sense their environment, respond to insect attacks and are even capable of limited movement. These reactions are driven by chemical signals – rather than nerve impulses – so it’s more like your immune system or unconscious hormonal responses, than conscious or deliberate thought.

Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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