Psychologists Annie Wertz and Karen Wynn found infants took on average five seconds longer to reach out and touch plants than other objects put in front of them. Wertz and Wynn suspect the reluctance is a default strategy that can be overturned with information from other people that a particular plant is safe to eat or use for some purpose. Although plants are largely an afterthought in modern environments, “When you think of humans in their historically natural environment, plants were a huge part of their lives,” Wertz said.
To read more, see the research in the journal Cognition.
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