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: Chris, how exactly do you know all this?
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      Apr 15 2013: Noah, if you want Chris to see your question, find a place Chris has posted a comment and go to the red word Reply on that comment.

      When you post to the top of the thread, as you have here, the only person you can count on to see it is Hadar, who gets a message that you have replied to her.
      • Apr 16 2013: The problem is that the reply button disappears after a few comments.
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          Apr 16 2013: Noah,
          Do you see the little arrows at the left by your name? That indicates what level the coment is. There are 3 levels.....you see that your comment has two little arrows? This comment has 3 little arrows? We cannot reply to a 3rd level comment......only first and second levels.
          So, when we want to reply to a 3rd level comment, just scroll up to the next "reply" opportunity. It may not be the same person you wish to reply to, but if you put the name of the person you wish to reply to at the top, the person probably will find it:>)
      • Comment deleted

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          Apr 16 2013: I am not techie.

          I don't know why you don't get alerts. Have you tried contacting the tech people about this?
    • Comment deleted

      • Apr 16 2013: By testing everything for yourself? Everything? How?
      • Apr 16 2013: But you still haven't answered my question, which had to do with validating your assertion that "Energy is what animates our physical matter. The mind is a form of pure energy; the physical organs are matter, material. Thus, it is our mind which gives the life energy to the physical body". This has nothing to do with any kind of scientific definition of what energy is, nor what I was talking about, which is string theory.

        "Science is wonderful ... because science is about knowing something. Not simply having an unchallenged hypothesis, but true KNOWLEDGE."

        I agree, which is why I'm trying to challenge you on all these unchallenged hypothesis you expect me to believe.

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