Even though scientific heart-brain connection research has shown that the heart’s signals to the brain inform our wisest, most intuitive decision making from day to day, much of what is taught about consciousness and neuroscience in schools and colleges is still very much brain-centric. And according to Rollin McCraty, Ph.D., Director of Research at The Institute of HeartMath, the heart’s communication with the brain far outweighs the brain’s communication with the heart.
In truth, science was aware of this fact more than a hundred years ago, but chose to ignore it as the science of the brain became more and more prominent. Mainstream science did acknowledge that the signals flowing from the heart and cardiovascular system to the brain moderated various aspects of the autonomic nervous system. But it tended to largely overlook how the heart and cardiovascular system inform and influence the thalamus, hypothalamus, amygdala and even the higher brain centers to thereby shape our thoughts, emotions and decisions.
As the emerging field of neurocardiology has grown over the last few decades, however, it has become undeniably evident that the heart is a sensory organ with its own system for processing memory and information. In fact, its internal nervous system is of sufficient sophistication that it is often referred to as the brain in the heart.
Prominent medical experts have recently discovered that many recipients of heart transplants are inheriting donors’ memories and consequently report huge changes in their tastes, their personality, and, most extraordinarily, in their emotional memories.