MadSci Network: Neuroscience

Re: Does the heart think?

Date: Mon Mar 14 10:22:40 2011
Posted By: Mitchell Maltenfort, Staff, Neurosurgery, Thomas Jefferson University
Area of science: Neuroscience
ID: 1300086028.Ns

That's a new one on me. I made a point of hitting Pubmed and even Wikipedia to see if I was missing something.

A cursory Google search turned up some "new age" links which echoed her argument. However, I'm gonna stick with my, albeit rusty, basic physiology.

The heart has the ability to generate rhythmic action potentials. This is how the heart keeps itself beating on schedule. It also has the ability to respond to neuronal inputs such as the vagus nerve, which tells it to "speed up" or "slow down!" However, the heart does not do any information storage or local processing. is one student's attempt to take a crack at this. She points out a few mechanisms by which this "cellular memory" is consistent with existing science. One is the possibility that the recipient is reacting to stray bits of info picked up about the donor. Another is that the heart has its own set of chemical signals and responses, and those get added to the recipient's own mix.

I would just like to add that there don't seem to be many examples of cannibals learning anything.

Current Queue | Current Queue for Neuroscience | Neuroscience archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Neuroscience.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2006. All rights reserved.