Plant "primary perception": electrophysiological unresponsiveness to brine shrimp killing

Science. 1975 Aug 8;189(4201):478-80. doi: 10.1126/science.189.4201.478.


A test of the "primary perception" hypothesis proposed by Backster in 1968 was made by recording electrical activity from the leaves of Philodendra scandentia while randomly ejecting the contents of micropipettes filled with brine shrimp or distilled water into boiling water. Test conditions conformed to those published by Backster or communicated in personal exchanges. Data were analysed from five experiments, in each of which recordings were made from four plants in the presence of three brine shrimp killings and two control water ejections. Inspection of the data and analysis by two statistical methods revealed no relationship between brine shrimp killing and electrical "responsiveness" of philodendron.