Mind has central importance for psychiatrists and psychologists. However, small attention has been paid in books to this important issue, that is usually discuss in Philosophical aspects of psychiatry/psychology.(Salem, 2004).In this world of emotions, heart has been considered as the source of emotions and perceptions.Howerver,researchers thought that heart has been played important role in producing emotions and controlling other functions.
More Interestingly,past researches have shown that how heart produce emotions, megnetic field and communicate via hormones. In this paper we will explore and explain important aspects of heart.The heart is more complex than a simple pump. In fact, it is seen now as a highly complex, self-organizing information processing centre with its own functional brain’ that communicates with, and influences, the cranial brain via the nervous system, hormonal system and other pathways.
The involvement of the heart with intuitive functions is another interesting piece of information.
However, as persons with transplanted hearts can function normally, the heart can be considered here as a medium or tool, for an underlying more sophisticated integrating system that has the capacity to carry the personal identity of the individual(Saleem,2004).Heart brainHowever, in several studies explained that the heart communicates with the brain in ways that significantly affect how we perceive and react to the world. It was found that, the heart seemed to have its own peculiar logic that frequently diverged from the direction of the autonomic nervous system. The heart appeared to be sending meaningful messages to the brain that it not only understood, but also obeyed (Lacey and Lacey, 1978). Later, neurophysiologists discovered a neural pathway and mechanism whereby input from the heart to the brain could inhibit or facilitate the brain’s electrical activity (McCraty, 2002).
After many years of research, a new termed heart brain introduced by Armour(1994).Armour explained the heart intrinsic nervous system,complexes of ganglia present in five atrial and five ventricular areas. Fnglia present on the following regions:
Ventricular ganglionated plexuses were located in fat
Heart contain almost 40000 neurons called sensory neurites.Information from the heart – including feeling sensations – is sent to the brain through several afferents. These afferent nerve pathways enter the brain at the area of the medulla, and cascade up into the higher centres of the brain, where they may influence perception, decision making and other cognitive processes (Armour, 2004). Thus, it was revealed that the heart has its own intrinsic nervous system that operates and processes information independently of the brain or nervous system. This is what allows a heart transplant to work. Normally, the heart communicates with the brain via nerve fibres running through the vagus nerve and the spinal column. In a heart transplant, these nerve connections do not reconnect for an extended period of time; in the meantime, the transplanted heart is able to function in its new host only through the capacity of its intact, intrinsic nervous system (Murphy, et al, 2000).
Heart and emotionsIt is long known that changes in emotions are accompanied by predictable changes in the heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and digestion. So, when we are aroused, the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system energizes us for fight or flight, and in more quiet times, the parasympathetic component cools us down. In this view, it was assumed that the autonomic nervous system and the physiological responses moved in concert with the brain’s response to a given stimulus (Rein, Atkinson, et al, 1995).Afferent input from the heart and cardiovascular system could significantly affect perception and behaviour.
Afferent signals from the heart significantly influence cortical activity. Specifically, we now know that afferent messages from the cardiovascular system are not only relayed to the brain stem to exert homeostatic effects on cardiovascular regulation, but also have separate effects on aspects of higher perceptual activity and mental processing(Rollin McCraty,2003).How heart communicates via hormonesAnother component of the heart-brain communication system was provided by researchers studying the hormonal system. The heart was reclassified as an endocrine gland when, in 1983, a hormone produced and released by the heart called atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) was isolated. This hormone exerts its effect on the blood vessels, on the kidneys, the adrenal glands, and on a large number of regulatory regions in the brain. It was also found that the heart contains a cell type known as intrinsic cardiac adrenergic” (ICA) cells. Theses cells release noradrenaline and dopamine neurotransmitters, once thought to be produced only by neurons in the CNS(Saleem,2004). More recently, it was discovered that the heart also secretes oxytocin, commonly referred to as the love’ or bonding hormone. In addition to its functions in childbirth and lactation, recent evidence indicates that this hormone is also involved in cognition, tolerance, adaptation, complex sexual and maternal behaviours, learning social cues and the establishment of enduring pair bonds. Concentrations of oxytocin in the heart were found to be as high as those found in the brain (Cantin & Genest, 1986).
The heart’s magnetic field Research has also revealed that the heart communicates information to the brain and throughout the body via electromagnetic field interactions. The heart generates the body’s most powerful and most extensive rhythmic electromagnetic field. The heart’s magnetic component is about 500 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away from the body. It was proposed that, this heart field acts as a carrier wave for information that provides a global synchronizing signal for the entire body (McCraty, Bradley & Tomasino, 2004).DisscusionIt has long been thought that conscious awareness originates in the brain alone. Recent scientific studies suggest that consciousness emerges from the brain and body acting together (Popper & Eccles, 2000).Now it is suggest that, heart has important role in producing emotions and perception, act as a hormonal gland, produce magnetic field and a little brain present in the form of intrinsic ganglia.Heart is more than a simple pump,consider as a source of wisdome and emotions.
The ancient Egyptians said that the heart is the organ of truth. Heart does seem to be able to tell you the truth about how you feel and what you think is right or wrong. When you lie, for example, your heart rate tends to speed up.Heart and brain both involves in producing of emotions.40000 neurons of heart also have ability to making a descions.Our heart also effects the mind.Donor recieved memory from recpient in heart transplantation.These new visions might give better understanding to the concept of mind as a multi-component unit that is not only interacting with the physical environment through demonstrable means, but also has the capacity to communicate with the cosmic universe through non-physical pathways (Lorimer, 2001). This gives rise to the concept of the spirit as the non-physical element, or the field, of the mind that can communicate with the cosmos outside the constraints of space and time. The evidence for such communication comes from the reported phenomena of extrasensory perception (telepathy, precognition, and clairvoyance), psycho-kinesis, psychic healing and religious experiences (Radin, 1997 & Henry, 2005).