TED Conversations

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/
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


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    • Apr 15 2013: So you transcended duality? When you where in school did you study history? The idea of science initially was motivated equally by an emerging world-view than the method of inquiring itself? Voltaire proclaimed "The Age of Reason Is the War on Superstition". Science emerged to fight Dogma and dissolve the superstitious world view. Makes sense right? Science provides medical explanations while religion and intuition provide demons. Theres a documentary called "Witch Doctor." Its about a Shamans in Africa who tells people (and actually believes) you can be cured of AIDS if you have sex with a virgin, now you can imagine how this played out. In short, Psuedo-scientific new age/ quasi-spiritual non-sense will lead us back to the dark ages. If you want to live in the Empirical world and not the Fantasy world than embrace real science, please. At least Keep your spiritual stuff away from science.. personally you can believe what you want.
    • Apr 15 2013: Carolyn I fully agree with you and have the feeling also that materialism is seen as the way to be and the way to go. The most important aspect and aim of life seems to be now, to die as the richest person possible. It is all about what we have, not what we do or why.

      The two major motivators in this world seem to have lost the connection to each other and have also lost their connection to reality. This life is not only about matter and it is also not only about spirit. Both should relate to, and respect, each other and acknowledge their limits.

      We basically need a spiritual motivation to use scientific (or physical items) to assist and help each other and society. What science does not see or cannot sensor it says 'does not exist' and the ones 'defending' the Bible have (I'm sorry to say) almost no idea what they're talking about.
      Gladly there is now a way to reconnect.
      • Apr 15 2013: Agree materialism is the goal these days and many do not care how many others they trample on to get there. It is clearly a good aim to be reasonably financially secure, roof over your head,food, kids through college, decent car, retirement funding.

        Avarice (greed for money) brings, jealously, often working yourself into the ground, disconnect from community and family, no respect for others including animals. Lives of isolation and ignorance of the world around you. I look at Australia's Billionairess + wealthiest woman in world through mining. Totally oblivious to the world/community around her it appears and total disarray btw family members.

        A survey asked ....towards the end of your life....was my life lived worthwhile? Looking back what would you have done differently ? Top answer ...to have stopped to smell the roses...spent more time with my family, not worked so hard. Connected with community.

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