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Observations placeholder

Bose, Sir Jagadis Chandra - Plants and perceptions



Type of Spiritual Experience


If we are to accept that plants have a perception 'log', then we first need to prove that plants have perceptions - that they respond to sensory stimulation in the  sort of cycle we have seen for humans – sensory stimulation, perception, then response in the form of  will based reaction.

Some of the most interesting and important advances made in our understanding of plants were made by Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose.  Professor Bose, found that not only do plants have this same cycle of sensory stimulation, perception and then response, but plants have functions and reactions not dissimilar to animals – including human beings.  In other words, we share common functions and our reactions to those functions is often identical.  The only difference between an animal and a plant was its rate of reaction – the plants growth and its rate of responding was slower than ours.  Furthermore, the movements often tended to be very small in themselves. He devised an instrument capable of measuring  the reactions and movements, which he called the Recording Crescograph. 

One of the important things the Crescograph enabled Dr Bose [later Professor Bose] to do was to pull together action, perception and then response into one measurable whole.  Before this instrument was devised, not only was it impossible to see the responses of plants, but it was also difficult to track the complete cycle......

A description of the experience

Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose – His Life and Speeches

Special apparatus of extreme delicacy had to be invented, which could magnify the tremor of excitation and also measure the perception period of a plant to a thousandth part of a second.  Ultra microscopic movements were measured and recorded; the length measured being often smaller than  a fraction of a single wave length of light.  The secret of plant life was thus for the first time revealed by the autographs of the plant itself.  This evidence of the plant's own script removed the long standing error which divided the vegetable world into sensitive and insensitive.........  My investigations show that all plants, even trees, are fully alive to changes of environment; they respond visibly to all stimuli.

When an animal is struck by a blow, it does not respond at once.  A certain short interval elapses between the incidence of the blow and the beginning of the reply.  This lost time is known as the latent period.  In the leg of a frog, the latent period according to Helmwoltz is about one hundredth of a second.  This latent period, however, undergoes appropriate variation with changing external conditions.  With feeble stimulus, it has a definite value, which with an excessive blow is much shortened.  In the cold season, it is relatively long.  Again, when we are tired our perception time, as we may call it, may be greatly prolonged.

Every one of these observations is equally applicable to the perception time of the plant.  In Mimosa, in a vigorous condition, the latent period is six one hundredth of a second, that is, only six times its value in an energetic frog!  Another curious thing is that a stoutish tree will give its response in a slow and lordly fashion, whereas a thin one attains the acme of its excitement in an incredibly short time.

The source of the experience

Bose, Sir Jagadish Chandra

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps