The Hidden Memories of Plants

Might we have something to learn from plants when it comes to “forgetting” versus “forming new memories?” Are we better off, like the plants, to just forget some life experiences? To acknowledge an experience for what it is, neither negative nor positive, yet continue to move forward without reference to our past?

Writer Sarah Laskow shares in her article, The Hidden Memories of Plants some fascinating results of studies on plants done by scientists.

Here are several quotes which caught our attention:

“Last year, a group of plant scientists based in Australia argued in the journal Science Advances that, for plants, forgetting (or not forming memories at all) may be a more powerful tool for survival than memory, and that memory, in particular epigenetic memory, is likely a relatively rare event.”

“Another research group has shown, for example, that a plant might form an epigenetic memory of salt stress and pass it along across generations, but that if the stress fades, so does the memory. A plant that remembers too much might sacrifice healthy growth to be constantly on guard against drought, flood, salt, insects. Better, perhaps, to let those negative experiences go, instead of always preparing for the worst.”

To read her entire article – The Hidden Memories of Plants Go Here


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