Heart and brain

I really do try to keep an open mind about this sort of thing. My usually view is very conventional, scientific, no nonsense on most matters; what counts is evidence and logical thinking. But this is something I try to keep from blinding me to possibilities from outside the scientific mainstream. So here is something interesting from IHM (which takes donations and sells products and so may not be a trustworthy scientific source).

Research in the new discipline of neurocardiology shows that the heart is a sensory organ and a sophisticated center for receiving and processing information. The nervous system within the heart (or “heart brain”) enables it to learn, remember, and make functional decisions independent of the brain’s cerebral cortex. Moreover, numerous experiments have demonstrated that the signals the heart continuously sends to the brain influence the function of higher brain centers involved in perception, cognition, and emotional processing.
In addition to the extensive neural communication network linking the heart with the brain and body, the heart also communicates information to the brain and throughout the body via electromagnetic field interactions. The heart generates the body’s most powerful and most extensive rhythmic electromagnetic field. Compared to the electromagnetic field produced by the brain, the electrical component of the heart’s field is about 60 times greater in amplitude, and permeates every cell in the body. The magnetic component is approximately 5000 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away from the body with sensitive magnetometers.
The heart generates a continuous series of electromagnetic pulses in which the time interval between each beat varies in a dynamic and complex manner. The heart’s ever-present rhythmic field has a powerful influence on processes throughout the body. We have demonstrated, for example, that brain rhythms naturally synchronize to the heart’s rhythmic activity, and also that during sustained feelings of love or appreciation, the blood pressure and respiratory rhythms, among other oscillatory systems, entrain to the heart’s rhythm.

In the context of the neurons in other parts of the body, especially the gut, it would not be surprising if the heart had a similar effect on the brain. The report goes on into various ideas what have less firm foundations, but maybe some grains of truth as well. I am not competent to sort the wheat from the chaff. This part that I have included here does seem fairly reasonable. I have long identified the idea of life with the rhythms of living things and identified the central essence of my ‘self’ with the rhythms of my whole body. This may be my illusion (rather than the more common illusion of the conscious mind being the essence of self).

2 thoughts on “Heart and brain

  1. That sounds very interesting! It could be an illusion inspired by symbolic meanings associated with the heart, but the heart does feel like a very ’emotional’ organ. E.g. sadness, chock, anger, love, tenderness, empathy feel like it ‘hits’ in the heart and then spreads to the brain.

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