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Hadar Cohen

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

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Is the heart overlooked when it comes to intelligence?

The center of the nervous system, the brain, has been popularly defined as the fundamental core of intellectual activity. Yet, in my Bioelectricity class with Professor Nina Tandon, we learned about recent research suggesting that information processing in the body may in fact be more distributed.

For example, there is increasing evidence suggesting that the cardioelectromagenetic field can actually affect human beings in close proximity.These signals are stronger in amplitude when in direct contact, but are still detectable up to several feet away from the source. Through these interactions, the heart transfers energies between human beings. The heart can therefore be characterized as the engine for distributing and controlling energy of the human body.

These extraordinary results illustrate that the heart is not only responsible for blood regulations, but is also a very powerful intelligence system.

This made me wonder, could intelligence be distributed through the body in ways we might not expect? Could this information sent to the brain perhaps even influence emotional states? Or provide insight into some of the unexplained links between "mental" and "bodily" diseases (eg Alzheimer's and cardiac disease etc)?

See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3547419/
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/expphysiol.2007.041178/full
and http://books.google.com/books?id=pvkpdNHhI6cC for more details

Given that the heart and other organs are frequently excluded from the
intellectual discussion, I would like to ask the Ted community, how do
these new findings affect how we view intelligence? How will our
interactions with each other differ if we view more of our bodies as
"intelligent?"

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  • Apr 13 2013: By Heart do you mean the allegorical symbol representing love, compassion, and empathy? Well i can put it this way, there is a dynamic of our brain associated with concepts, logic, and absolutes (Left-Brain) and a dynamic associated with feeling, sensation, and intuition (right brain). I do believe, especially in the west, we are overly "Left-Brained." I do believe we need to integrate both aspects of our brain functioning and recognize the wisdom each part has.
    • Apr 13 2013: thats the thing, its not necessarily how you think it is.its not all in the brain. people intuitively knew somethimg science has just confirmed. we lovr woth our heart,physically.
      • Apr 13 2013: how do we love with our heart? And the heart in every society meant something differant. It would be only "intuitive" or by default that the heart would be of significance to the mind of the illiterate ancient man, because the heart beats and you can feel it. So the heart was associated with the soul like in Egypt when the heart was allegedly put on a balance after death with a feather in attempt to measure your karma before entering the underworld.
        • Apr 13 2013: emotions are sent via electro magnetic fieldds the heart puts out.
      • Apr 13 2013: sorry buddy emotions are produced by the brain. The physical aspects of emotions are differant biochemicals the brain signals to be released. For example the feeling of anxiety or fear is really
        just adrenaline and cortosol. Dopamine seratonin and an abundance of many biochemicals in particular doses and measurements produce your entire spectrum of emotion. EMBRACE REAL SCIENCE, THERES A LOT OF GARBAGE OUT THERE.
        • Apr 13 2013: sorry buddy, but a ..this article states otherwise. u should try reading it. the people making these findings are pretty darn real. just try reading one of the links before you reserve judgement and think you know what REAL SCIENCE is.
        • Apr 13 2013: add the heart to those facts in that it relays emotions via electro magnetic waves. it can do how you saypluss what this article says .its not either or.
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          Apr 14 2013: Hi Keith,
          You mean real science like 'God does not play dice'?
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          Apr 14 2013: I agree with you Keith....there is a lot of misleading information "out there".

          You say..."The physical aspects of emotions are differant biochemicals the brain signals to be released...anxiety or fear is really just adrenaline and cortosol. Dopamine seratonin and an abundance of many biochemicals in particular doses and measurements produce your entire spectrum of emotion".

          I agree that the biochemicals, released into the body/mind cause various reactions to stimuli. Do they however, "produce the entire spectrum of emotion"?

          There has been research indicating that when we consciously think about, and feel certain emotions, these chemicals are released in the body/mind. For example, it has been proven that laughter and crying release similer chemicals in the body/mind. Consciously making facial expressions (sad or happy for example) causes the release of chemicals in the body/mind.

          So, which comes first? The stimuli (external or internal) which causes the release of chemicals? Or the production of chemicals which cause the emotions?

          You are saying..."Dopamine seratonin and an abundance of many biochemicals in particular doses and measurements produce your entire spectrum of emotion", which I don't think is true. Based on research I've seen, it is the other way around.
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          Apr 15 2013: Keith,
          It looks like this comment of yours, which was kind of randomly in another spot, is a response to my comment above, so I hope you don't mind that I copied it here to try to keep the comments consistant.

          "Keith Wessman
          6 hours ago: The brain is a part of a constant reciprocating communicative process with the body. It gets feedback from all over but ultimately the brain is the location where experience occurs."

          I agree with you that " The brain is a part of a constant reciprocating communicative process with the body". Well said Keith.

          I believe research shows us that "experience occurs" throughout the body and brain. As a part of a "constant reciprocating communicative process", which you insightfully recognize, how could it be any different?

          BTW,
          I am very grateful for your respectful reply to me. I observe some of your other comments and replies, and your demeanor is not always beneficial to the conversation.
      • Comment deleted

        • Apr 13 2013: you read the question thoroughly? this isnt the first time ive heard this. on you tube"science of the heart" explains as well.
          energies, information is in the electro magnetic waves. this has an effect to people within proximity of you.
      • Apr 13 2013: Sorry buddy the article is wrong or your kind of misinterpreting it. The heart sends signals to the brain and can effect the brain and its emotional processes. The heart is not giving the brain the exact command for a particular emotional response. Maybe if you understood a little more about physiology you would have some sort of context in filtering the information. Every organ gives feedback to the brain and yes they are discovering the signals of the heart are of special importance. However your emotions although effected by the heart in ways not yet fully understood are not responsible for your exact emotion and the way you experience and process it.
        • Apr 13 2013: what is it ,am i wrong or the article?it also states these waves have effect on people in proximity,and dont put words in my mouth. no one ever ssid " fully responsible".
      • Apr 13 2013: put it this way... if the article is suggesting what your saying than your both wrong. Theres a lot of junk science out there dont buy everything you hear. i never said fully responsible either, pal. research the gut/brain connection and learn how that effects the mental and biological processes. No Organ dictates your emotions but your brain, although many organs can INFLUENCE emotions... big difference.
        • Apr 14 2013: oh yeah . what was i thinkin. kieth wessman knows it all... put it this way... if the article is suggesting what your
          saying than your both wrong
          Your not even reading the article? why you even commenting?Don't you gotta bridge somewhere to be under? calling stuff garbage without reading it?
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      • Apr 13 2013: I came to the conclusion that brain size is not always equal to level of inteligence when reading the article about turtles that dont deteriorate and the guy that discovered it. His observations showed these turtles would gain wisdom of there suroundings over several years of living there.
        • Apr 15 2013: Nathan Nathan Nathan.. oh your ignorance to our most blessed gift, Truth. There no need in explaining anything to you. you dont have the capacity to grasp anything i try to convey so.. Peace.
      • Apr 13 2013: I like the idea of integration but im aware of the importance of method and skepticism. Many people put 2 and 2 together and come up with 5. Im for the Facts.
      • Apr 13 2013: I feel you... but you know there's a lot of garbage out there and this subject looks like its attracting the pseudo-scientists. Plus our own minds are not always trustworthy thats why evidence is crucial.

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