Botany or Plant Biology
Human Anatomy and Physiology
Nervous System

How can a plant feel pain without a nervous system?

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Answered 2007-11-12 11:46:16

* Plant Brain: Each root apex harbours a unit of nervous system of plants. The number of root apices in the plant body is high and all brain-units are interconnected via vascular strands (plant nerves) with their polarly-transported auxin (plant neurotransmitter), to form a serial (parallel) nervous system of plants. The computational and informational capacity of this nervous system based on interconnected parallel units is predicted to be higher than that of the diffuse nervous system of lower animals, or the central nervous system of higher animals/humans. Taken from the study at: http://ds9.botanik.uni-bonn.de/zellbio/AG-Baluska-Volkmann/plantneuro/neuroview.php

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Answered 2017-08-23 14:33:49

They can't.

Sentience is the capacity to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively. Although plants can react to stimuli, these reactions do not constitute sentience because plants lack pain receptors, sensory organs, and a central nervous system to process sensations. Animals are able to consciously perceive their environment and consciously respond with many different behaviors to it. Plants lack this variability of response, in that they will react in the same manner regardless of different scenarios. For example, they will grow towards a light source whether they are outdoors and reacting to the path of the sun or indoors reacting to a stationary window or electric light bulb.

Animals have evolved sentience because pain can help them to avoid harmful stimuli and pleasure can help them to seek and find beneficial stimuli. Plants have not evolved sentience because it doesn’t benefit them. Plants have no way to move away from drought, deluge, heat, or cold.

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