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Scientists discover 'second brain' in the stomach


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Gives the term 'brain food' a whole new meaning :(

 

 

Scientists discover 'second brain' in the stomach

 

Scientists are claiming to have discovered a second brain - in the human stomach.

 

The breakthrough, involving experts in the US and Germany, is believed to play a major part in the way people behave.

 

This 'second brain' is made up of a knot of brain nerves in the digestive tract. It is thought to involve around 100 billion nerve cells - more than held in the spinal cord.

 

Researchers believe this belly brain may save information on physical reactions to mental processes and give out signals to influence later decisions. It may also be responsible in the creation of reactions such as joy or sadness.

 

The research is outlined in the latest issue of German science magazine, Geo, in which Professor Wolfgang Prinz, of the Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research in Munich, says the discovery could give a new twist on the old phrase "gut reaction".

 

He said: "People often follow their gut reactions without even knowing why, its only later that they come up with the logical reason for acting the way they did. But we now believe that there is a lot more to gut feelings than was previously believed."

 

Professor Prinz thinks the stomach network may be the source for unconscious decisions which the main brain later claims as conscious decisions of its own.

 

The second brain was rediscovered by Michael Gershorn, of the University of Colombia in New York, after it was forgotten by science. He says it was first documented by a 19th century German neurologist, Leopold Auerbach.

 

He discovered two layers of nerve cells near a piece of intestine he was dissecting. After putting them under the microscope he found they were part of a complex network.

 

Recent research has already raised the idea that many reactions may be made in the stomach. Benjamin Libet, of the University of California found the brains of volunteers asked to raise their arms only registered activity about half a second after the movement had been made. He believes his work implies another parts of the body may have been involved in making the decision. link

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I read somewhere that there's one in the heart

That one is a little bit different, but just as interesting. Heart transplant recipients have been found to retain the other persons memories. One of the more well known accounts is from a old truck driver that received a heart transplant from a 20-some year old school teacher. The guy who got the transplant hated peanut butter. He wouldn't even allow it in his house. After the heart transplant his family said that he was acting strangely, although they couldn't explain it. One of the 'differences' was that he suddenly had a craving for anything with peanut butter in it. After a few months the guy decided that he wanted to meet the parents of the school teacher to thank them personally for what their daughter had done for him by giving him her heart. The very moment that he saw them, for some unexplained reason he knew their names. During their conversation he asked them if there was anything odd about the school teacher and peanut butter and they laughed. Seems she had a unquenchable craving for Reeces peanut butter cups :)

 

There are many things that mankind does not know yet. Just last week we discovered a new species of animal. We're lucky to be living in a time when these new discoveries are happening.

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That one is a little bit different, but just as interesting. Heart transplant recipients have been found to retain the other persons memories. One of the more well known accounts is from a old truck driver that received a heart transplant from a 20-some year old school teacher. The guy who got the transplant hated peanut butter. He wouldn't even allow it in his house. After the heart transplant his family said that he was acting strangely, although they couldn't explain it. One of the 'differences' was that he suddenly had a craving for anything with peanut butter in it. After a few months the guy decided that he wanted to meet the parents of the school teacher to thank them personally for what their daughter had done for him by giving him her heart. The very moment that he saw them, for some unexplained reason he knew their names. During their conversation he asked them if there was anything odd about the school teacher and peanut butter and they laughed. Seems she had a unquenchable craving for Reeces peanut butter cups :)

 

There are many things that mankind does not know yet. Just last week we discovered a new species of animal. We're lucky to be living in a time when these new discoveries are happening.

That is totally mind boggling! May I ask what you do for a living?

 

EDIT: You know, I just realized that, when I meditate, I have the feeling that my mind (and even my vision, although my eyes are closed) is actually in the center of my body (abdomen) instead of my head. I sometimes have the same feeling when I'm sparring (specially when working with a group): my feeling of distance and rhythm is strongly connected to my abdomen and not to my eyes. It kinda makes me feel "in the zone".

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That is totally mind boggling!

See below :)

 

 

Does the Heart Have a Memory?

 

 

Many of us have felt the tug on our "heart strings" when we see a newborn infant or recognize someone we love. And, most people have experienced heartache when someone they love is gone, but it's actually the brain that stores the memories of such occurrences, right?

 

The question has been around for years: does the heart feel emotion or does the brain simply make it seem as though it does? The question arises anew after years of transplanting the heart or other organs into human beings and noticing some changes in the recipient. After having had heart or lung transplants some recipients have noticed profound changes in their personalities. For some, there is an overwhelming need to consume quantities of Mexican foods when that type of cuisine was never a favorite. For others, a sudden love for football, when sports were previously hated, comes into play.

 

How can these phenomena be explained? Can the heart actually feel, think, remember, care, hurt or hope? The answer could lie in the way the human body stores memories and feelings. Although some people scoff at the idea that the heart can carry forth memories of it's previous owner to the recipient others think it could be possible, but can't explain the phenomenon.

 

It becomes extremely technical to explain how the heart could possibly retain memories. Cells which hold memory and feeling find their way to the brain for storage but beforehand they pass throughout the body including the heart. Does a portion of the memories and feelings get first deposited into the heart?

 

Some studies have been done to try to resolve this phenomena without much satisfaction. Some experts claim that the reason the recipient begins displaying some personality traits of the deceased is that all live cells possess a memory function. As cells travel through the blood stream some deposit in various organs of the body. These cells, even after death and transplantation, recall certain aspects of human traits.

 

Since the recipients of heart and other organs are usually told very little about the deceased it's unlikely that the recipient is experiencing sympathy reactions. Usually the patient is only told the age and sex of the person whose organ they have received. And, recipients of heart transplants experience the personality trait changes much more frequently than recipients of other organs.

 

But one has to wonder if the actual memories aren't stored in the heart itself since rarely are other organ transplants credited with the personality traits experienced by those who receive heart transplantation.

 

Those who have given permission for the organs of their loved ones to live on in others are doing a wonderful service to mankind. It may make them feel even more like they've made the right decision when they read of these intriguing cases where it seems as though the deceased personality, indeed, does live on in someone else. link

 

May I ask what you do for a living?

No :D

 

Don't take it personally as it has nothing to do with you. I just don't give out detailed personal information over the net. I will tell you this though in regards to this thread, one of my degrees is in the medical field. Hope that can suffice :)

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Don't take it personally as it has nothing to do with you. I just don't give out detailed personal information over the net. I will tell you this though in regards to this thread, one of my degrees is in the medical field. Hope that can suffice :)

Hey, that's totally OK. :)

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