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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 14 2013: I have. I read the article you posted, and I looked up different uses for magnetic fields in medical practice, some of which have a real basis and some of which are pseudoscientific. What I can dismiss are claims by people that jump to illogical conclusions, citing sources that don't prove what those people are claiming.
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      Apr 14 2013: Noah,
      Is this comment to me? Good job to do your own exploration.

      I did not know what, or whom your other comment was addressing, so it helps to put a name on the comment.

      Also, it helps to keep the comments in sequence as much as possible. If there is a little red "reply" in the upper right of the comment, you can reply directly to the person. If not, scroll up to the first opportunity to reply.
      • Apr 15 2013: 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.
      • Apr 17 2013: "No Keith, you don't need to say anything again. What would be helpful to any conversation, is for you to be clear regarding what you want to express. "
        Read what ive wrote.. how am i not being obvious? im explaining what school children learn in their introductory science classes reguarding the scientific method. Really im coming off frustrated because its like.... what planet are you on? isnt it obvious science is a process of experimentation and claims based on empirical data?
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          Apr 17 2013: I am on the same planet you are Keith, and I read what you write. I have not EVER argued with you regarding what science is, or is not. Perhaps you are getting lost in your own frustration?

          Here is what I wrote to you recently...
          "Since you ask Keith....
          What is MOST obvious about your comments, in my observation, is your intolerace for other people's thoughts, feelings, ideas, your sarcasm and anger, which simply muddies the water, causing less understanding of what exactly you are trying to express."

          If you want people to genuinely listen to you and respectfully engage in conversation, it would be helpful for you to offer the same.

          So, again....I have not argued with you regarding what science is, or is not. Why do you want to be disrespectful with your question..."what planet are you on"? Why is that kind of communication necessary for you? What do you gain? What purpose does it serve?
      • Apr 17 2013: Im getting frustrated by repeating my point over and over. Sometimes being direct is the best way to get through to people.. wake them out of their coma haha. I dont mean to offend you if thats what your thinking. WHen i see ridiculous claims i respond accordingly.
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          Apr 17 2013: If you are frustrated with repeating your point over and over again Keith, don't do it! You are simply frustrating yourself. You don't offend me Keith, you offend yourself. YOUR comments are a reflection of YOU. It doesn't have anything to do with anyone else.
      • Apr 17 2013: thats your subjective opinion. Those who understand my position of defending Real Science may have a different view. Religion is not the biggest threat to science, NO, the biggest threat to science are people who distort it and use it inappropriately. As i have said in response to somebody earlier "i would not adamantly attack someones views on religion or philosophy, but science is worth defending"
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          Apr 17 2013: Yes Keith, some folks may have a different view indeed......and some maybe the same view:>) YOUR comments are a reflection of YOU, and it doesn't have anything to do with anyone else.

          You are arguing with me, and I am not arguing with you. Got that Bucko? I noticed that you like that name for people you converse with, so you must like it for yourself as well:>)
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          Apr 17 2013: "The biggest threat to Science are people who distort it and use it inappropriately"

          "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain"

          Sounds like religion to me, Keith.
      • Apr 17 2013: the problem with comments are they are always out of context because the human presence necassary for deciphering context is not here. You may have they wrong idea of my intentions and certainly perception is influenced by subjectivity. Therefore what my comments reflect is more determined on whos reading and how its being processed. You dont have to supply your therapuetics in my conversations with other people. If all human action is driven by motive, whats yours? Some people believe their words and actions arise from a place of reason and altruism when they really are speaking from a self-righteous moral hill-top... not saying thats certainly you, im throwing it out there.. Apart of awareness is understanding that which drives you. Even our apparent friendliness and happy motive may be seeded in the same fear, desire, and ego that spiritual practice is aimed at dissolving.
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          Apr 17 2013: Keith,
          Let me remind you that this thread started with a question from YOU...

          "Keith Wessman
          7 hours ago: Need i say it again.. Science needs to have proof! at least a way to prove it. Im not against Philosophy.. im against the confusion of the two. Im against Bad Science and miraculous claims made under the pretense of science. WOW! how isnt that obvious? "

          My response to you Keith...
          "Colleen Steen
          6 hours ago: No Keith, you don't need to say anything again. What would be helpful to any conversation, is for you to be clear regarding what you want to express.

          Since you ask Keith....
          What is MOST obvious about your comments, in my observation, is your intolerace for other people's thoughts, feelings, ideas, your sarcasm and anger, which simply muddies the water, causing less understanding of what exactly you are trying to express."

          1.Comments ARE NOT "out of context"......except yours.
          2. If you do not want an answer, do not ask the question.
          3. YOUR comments are a reflection of YOU and no one else.
      • Apr 17 2013: clearly you didnt process my last message. Take a deep breathe.. and let it go. if somebody says 2 plus 2 equals 5 im not going to accept their viewpoint. Your wrong my comments also reflect the stupidity of many people commenting on this thread. you where being reasonable until you intruded with this life lesson.. others where being "flat- earthers" so i called them on it. With the level of "Science-Denial" that was going on i had to be blunt. what can i say... cry me a river.
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          Apr 17 2013: Clearly Keith I did indeed process your last message, as well as your previous messages.

          YOUR comments reflect YOU my friend:>)
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          Apr 17 2013: Nobody is denying science, least of all me. I happen to love science.

          I just deny your particular brand of it.
      • Apr 17 2013: ok Mom
    • Comment deleted

      • Apr 15 2013: I think you know what I mean. If not, I'll say it again in a different way: You can't claim something and provide a source that does not back up the claim.
      • Apr 15 2013: If your brain was monitored by MRI and they pricked you or stimulated different parts of your body corresponding regions of your brain would light up. Hey Socrates why dont you read a real science journal. the amazing thing is that real scientists publish all their experiments and data and wait usually before something is considered as true the experiment is replicated many time by many people. For real open up a piece of accepted scientific literature.. you would be surprised. You should try to kick your little folk science thing.. really pathetic, and it upsets me only cause people like yourself mislead other and taint what Science represents. Come on, read the array of garbage you post on this site.
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          Apr 15 2013: Descending into ad hominem actually devalues any valid wisdom you might have to impart.

          Your angry comments are telling me that you are operating on a narrow belief system - a belief that science is the overlord of everything, including human existence and consciousness, which regularly defies logic and is often chaotic.

          If you say you have an interest in psychology, then you would know that.

          You cannot distil human existence exclusively down to coloured blips on fMRI images and the (as yet not fully researched) role of neurochemicals.

          In the field of psychology, you simply have to open your mind up to its behavioural/social aspects of study (both sciences, yet both potentially defying logic) in order to fully comprehend what really does make us tick.
      • Apr 15 2013: When I called you Socrates, yeah, that was sarcasm Bucko. Philosophy is great but it doesnt prove anything. Your Poetic notions although, romantic, are not true. Like i said believe what you want just dont corrupt science or any form of academia with your thought pollution. If you where religious i and everyone could just shrug our shoulders and say "Oh hes just Religious" But No your selling your witchcraft under the pretense of science.. thats what bugs me.
      • Apr 15 2013: The way this comment section works is annoying. Chris, the way I see it, there is no such thing as "materialistic" science. What exactly does "material" mean? If something like spirit energy or ghosts or something could be documented by science as a legitimate phenomenon, it would become the material world, not much different from magnetic fields, dark energy, or whatever. Also, according to string theory, all matter is just a manifestation of energy. So maybe what the universe essentially boils down to is just laws.
      • Apr 16 2013: "Truth cannot corrupt science.

        Limiting your understanding of what science is, corrupts it."-- If anything is "true" it must be proven to be so with evidence before science would accept it. Science has no boundaries except
        that it can only test what is testable.... once again clearly you dont know the first thing about what science really is.. Go worship the sun
      • Apr 16 2013: Does the photon behave logically, or does it defy logic? hahaha! Yeah it defies your anthrapromorphic conception of logic. It still behaves in the context of order. Go worship the sun!
    • Apr 15 2013: Allan Macdougal, My comments are sarcastic, not angry. Look you too are contriving some idea that im suggesting something im not and saying something that isnt widely accepted knowledge in the field of science. Think buddy.. all im doing is debunking miraculous claims. Just because you believe in the religion of new ageism, doesnt mean its true.
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        Apr 17 2013: OK Keith, let me ask you a few questions:

        How does one arrive at a hypothesis?

        How and where in the mind do scientific theories originate?

        Do you believe that intuition, imagination and creativity have a place in science, as well as logic? Is there a hierarchy for those? Is intuition the servant of logic - or is it the other way round? Which comes first?

        Do you think Darwin was accused in his time, of peddling miraculous claims?

        Do you accept that the theory of natural selection is now mainstream science - or do you still see it as a miraculous claim? Which one is it, and why?
        • Apr 17 2013: Have you heard of Complexity Theory? Used to understand evolution, the big bang, and Free markets, complexity theory demonstrate how extraordinarily complex systems arise out of simple ones. Creativity Intuition and consciousness are produced this way through material and evolution.. Of course hypothesis arise out of creative thinking. Darwins Hypothesis In Origin Of species was backed by his physical observations, and since been verified in every way possible thus far. If you have a theory it must be either verified or verifiable. Science doesnt make claims that either are not already verified or able to verify. Also.. you cant have a theory that rejects established truths.. unless you already have the evidence.
        • Apr 17 2013: "The biggest threat to Science are people who distort it and use it inappropriately"

          "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain"

          Sounds like religion to me, Keith.

          Exactly look what people have done to Religion.. i dont want that to Science.. my point exactly
        • Apr 17 2013: Nobody is denying science, least of all me. I happen to love science.

          I just deny your particular brand of it."

          You Mean Real Science?
          you havent understood one thing i said so far. go pray to a statue buddy!
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        Apr 17 2013: Complexity Theory facilitates the revision of system concepts of in order to grasp the unstable and dynamic processes of phenomena. An essential component of Complexity Theory, as you might know, is its anti-reductionist strategy, enabling fundamental re-thinking of the nature of systems. Your take on science seems to me very reductionist, and therefore dismisses many of the concepts and possibilities discussed here.

        Science can push its own boundaries with such theories, but pioneering, cutting-edge science owes a great deal to the possibilities expressed in metaphysics and philosophy - much of which lies outside the reductionist/empiricist paradigm.

        If you accept, for instance, that quantum entanglement and 'spooky action at a distance' requires that light travel at 10,000 times faster than Einstein predicted, then why can you not accept the possibility that the heart, with its 40,000 neurons, could have an influence on intelligence? Which one is science, and which one is "witchcraft"?

        "Witchcraft", "New Ageism" and "Miraculous Claims" are nothing short of pointless labels used to dismiss an essential thought process, which might eventually lead to the kind of science you vigorously defend, but with a broader reach.
        • Apr 17 2013: Need i say it again.. Science needs to have proof! at least a way to prove it. Im not against Philosophy.. im against the confusion of the two. Im against Bad Science and miraculous claims made under the pretense of science. WOW! how isnt that obvious?
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          Apr 17 2013: No Keith, you don't need to say anything again. What would be helpful to any conversation, is for you to be clear regarding what you want to express.

          Since you ask Keith....
          What is MOST obvious about your comments, in my observation, is your intolerace for other people's thoughts, feelings, ideas, your sarcasm and anger, which simply muddies the water, causing less understanding of what exactly you are trying to express
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        Apr 17 2013: OK Keith, I'll let you stew in your own anger for a bit.

        Let me know when you want to directly answer my questions, and I'll listen and politely discuss...
        • Apr 17 2013: Im only typing in a frustrated manner because my point is so simple and universal, it appalls me i have to re word it a millions times and its still alluding you. The way to solve a problem is not by making it more difficult. thats the problem with being overly philosophical.. your not solving any problem if anything your making a simple point far more complicated than it has to be.
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        Apr 17 2013: Few things are obvious to everyone. There is lots of material online, for example, that pulls people's ideas in different directions. Once people's beliefs become quite firm, competing points of view are even less obvious and new information more likely to be discounted.

        I mention this because people are often offended when a person suggests that things they do not believe are obvious. The potential for communication is greater if you accept that the same things are not always obvious to people.

        I do agree that "bad science" or distortions of science to whatever ends can be frustrating to see, but the fact is that it is often extremely hard for people to distinguish one from the other.
        • Apr 17 2013: good point, i agree. I believe Science is worthy of fighting to maintain though, because it has proven to be our greatest assett. I would never adamantly fight against somebodys religious our philosophical beliefs.. but i will fight against peoples flawed views of science and bad assumptions made under the pretense of science.

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