The small brain inside your heart is a recent discovery. Scientists are still trying to understand its role. This little-known organ is called “the cardiac ganglion.” It’s located in the sinoatrial node, which is the heart’s natural pacemaker. Studies show that it can communicate with the larger brain in your head. It may even play a role in controlling your heart rate and blood pressure.
By David Stone
Assorted Ideas, Large & Small
Is it a mini-brain or is there something else going on inside your heart that we don’t know about yet?
So far, the cardiac ganglion has been found to contain clusters of nerve cells, which suggests that it may be important for regulating heart function. Researchers are still trying to determine the specific functions of the small brain and how it interacts with the larger brain.
An article from 2007, said that “experts believe the neurons may be an evolutionary holdover from a time when humans and other animals had a prominent tail.” That’s right, your heart probably has a tail.
So should you start thinking of your heart as being smart? Maybe not just yet. Neurologists have found that this brain inside your heart is very different from your head. The neuronal structure is much simpler and lacks a conventional central nervous system and a true brain.
The cardiac ganglion can be found in the heart tissue of all vertebrates, which includes mammals and humans. This small cluster of neurons does resemble an invertebrate’s brain. Invertebrates include octopuses and insects, which have a decentralized nervous system that doesn’t rely on a central brain.
So what does this all mean? Is your heart smarter than you think?
It’s still too early to say for sure, but researchers are interested in further exploring the role of the small brain inside your heart.
Related: Getting to Know Your Three Brains
Functions of this small brain in our heart?
The functions of the cardiac ganglion inside your heart are still largely unknown. Researchers found that this small group of neurons can communicate with the main brain in your head via the nervous system. The extent and mechanism of how this happens are not yet known, but scientists do know that it’s no direct neural connection between these two brains.
The cardiac ganglion is also known to regulate heart rate and blood pressure. This means that it could play an important role in controlling your overall health. More research is needed to determine the specific functions of this small brain and how it affects the larger brain.
So should we start calling our hearts our “second brains?”
How does the small heart brain affect us and how can we use it to help ourselves?
So far, the small brain in our hearts has been found to regulate heart rate and blood pressure. This means it plays a important role in our overall health. More research is needed to determine the specific functions of this small brain and how it interacts with the larger brain.
It’s still too early to say a whole lot for sure.
Is the large brain inside your head more important than the small one in your heart?
Some people believe that the large brain inside their head is more important than the small one in their heart because it controls many of the body’s functions. While the cardiac ganglion, at least, regulates heart rate and blood pressure, both vital activities, the brain inside our head controls many of the organs and bodily functions.
Scientists are still trying to determine if this small brain inside our heart is capable of controlling our overall health. The cardiac ganglion may be responsible for regulating other parts of the body, which could affect how we perceive it. A lot more research is needed to fully understand this small brain and its role in controlling health.
The importance of understanding what’s happening with your body, mind, and soul
No one knows everything, and the more we can learn about ourselves, the better. Understanding the workings of our hearts and, in turn, the small brains inside them is an important step in achieving better health and wellbeing. So keep an open mind, and maybe think of your heart as being a little bit smarter than you thought.
The Heart-Brain Conclusion
The heart is the most important organ in your body, but have you ever considered that it might not be just a pump? In recent years, scientists have been studying how the brain and other organs communicate with one another.
This research has led to some surprising findings. For example, we now know that the small brain inside our hearts may process emotions more than any other part of our bodies. But why would this matter?
We still have a lot to learn about what’s going on in there.
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