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Welcome to the Minimal Intelligence Lab!


About Us

MINTlab is the world's first laboratory in the philosophy of plant signaling and behavior (a.k.a., plant neurobiology). We are a multidisciplinary research group with members from all over the world interested in questions about plant intelligence. Our research spans the scientific enterprise, from experiments with climbing beans and pea plants to fundamental questions at the intersection of the physical, biological, and cognitive sciences. MINTlab members and collaborators come from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives, and bring with them an eclectic array of methods and ideas.

These are a few of our questions:

What can plants tell us about the nature of intelligence?

What is the best way to conceptualize "intelligence", especially as it pertains to plants.

What, if anything, is unique about plant intelligence?

For instance, does growth based movement involve unique senses, different from animals?

To answer these questions, MINTlab members engage in conceptual/theoretical/philosophical research, empirical (observational/experimental) research, and eventually, applied research. Paco Calvo has been most active in developing a background of potentially useful ideas for the study of plant intelligence, coathoring papers with the minds behind the root brain hypothesis, free energy principle, general tau theory, and others. The study of plant intelligence, or the unnerving of intelligence presents special challenges. It requires that we abandon common human or animal centric biases on the one hand, but not abandoning the psychological on the other. Neither the mentalistic cognitive sciences nor the materialistic physiological sciences are up to the task. Thus, MINTlab is presently looking to perspectives that ask not what's inside your head, but what your head's inside of. In other words, perspectives centered around the relationship between an organism and its environment, looking for intelligence as an achievement of that relationship, rather than of a special mental apparatus.