Often do we come across phrases like, “heart says this” or
“heart tells me to do so”, and then there are other experiences like heart
racing with excitement when watching your favorite team winning a match or
feeling sympathy to the extent of crying when some cute friendly little cat gets
crushed by the car. Then there are followers of Iqbal, like me, who say “jo akal
ka ghulam ho wo dil na kr qubool”. These entire things have been quiet puzzling
and confusing for not only the philosophers and psychologists but also for the
common people. So I decided to share some of my findings that I gathered by
taking a curiosity glance through internet The meme that “heart has brains of
its own” is supported by the symptoms shown by almost 5-10% of people who get a
The heart is considered as a source of feelings like love,
anger, hatred, and a focus of personality traits. In order to study this a
question arise whether the patients after having a heart transplant feel any
change in personality or not, so a study was conducted in which 47 patients who
were transplanted over a period of 2 years in Vienna, Austria, were asked for an
interview. On the basis of interview results the patients were categorized into
three groups; one group comprised of those 79% of people who said that they
found no personality changein themselves at all after the heart transplant. The
patients, according to the research paper, expressed some massive defense and
denial reactions, mainly by rapidly changing the subject or making the question
ridiculous. The second group comprised of another fifteen per cent of people who
said that their personality had changed, but this change not because of the new
heart, but because the life-threatening event, in the form of heart transplant,
they had been through. Only Six per cent of the patients reported that their
personality has changed due to their new hearts.
Some heart transplant recipients have reported unexpected side effects like
change in their likes and dislikes, habits and desires and some reported even
experiencing memories of the donor. How could all this be possible if heart
I am quoting some of these examples from “MAN AND HIS GOD: MONEY, SCIENCE or
LOVE?” By JacPerus.
The donor was a three years old girl who drowned in a family pool during the
absence of her parents and the recipient was a nine years old boy with
myocarditis and septal defects. The recipient mother told that he was very fond
of eater but after the transplant he became quiet afraid of water. Also the
child who knew nothing about the donor girl said “I can feel her in there…..She
says she wishes that parents wouldn’t throw away their children”.
On May 29, 1988, an American woman named Claire Sylvia received a heart
transplant at a hospital in Yale, Connecticut. Clair Sylvia in her book titled;
a change of heart: a memoir, wrote that she developed cravings for bear and
chicken nuggets neither of which she liked before the transplant, but she later
came to know that these were favorite of her donor.
Another example is the case in which a 47 year-old white male foundry worker,
who received the heart of a 17 year-old black male student. The donor was not a
racist; he did have some assumptions in regard to the kinds of tastes a young
black man would have. He was of the view that if after the transplant his tastes
would change, perhaps he would start to like rap music. But contrarily the man
started to listen to classical music and became obsessed with it. Later on it
turned out that the donor was a classical violin player.
An eight year-old girl, received the heart from murdered ten year-old girl.
Interestingly the recipient started to have some nightmares about the murder.
These experiences prove helpful by the police to find the man in question.
Some other researchers explain these experiences on the basis of side effects of
medicines that are taken after heart transplant so that this new heart may not
be rejected by the recipients’ immune system. These medicines could result in
some psychological effects that cause the person to think that he may be getting
some other personality traits.
Heart generates electromagnetic field, this em field of heart effects the human
body but the people around you also get influenced by your hearts magnetic
field. The heart beat generated electrical impulses, much stronger then the
impulses generated from the brain, which can be measured 3-4 feet from the body.
During the development of the fetus the first organ assembles from the tissues
is the heart and it is believed that the em impulses of heart guides the fetal
Researchers have found out that heart experiences a two-way dialogue with the
brain. Heart can communicate with brain in different ways like through the
transmission of nerve impulse (neurologically), biophysically, biochemically and
through electromagnetic interactions . When we experience anger, anxiety,
frustration etc. our heart sends rhythm patterns to the brain. The brain then
recognizes these patters as emotions and feelings that we experience.For those
people that often experience anger, stress etc the risk of heart disease
increases as under these emotions the heart releases hormones and experiences a
strain that can cause health issues.
On the other hand experiencing positive emotions like love, harmony etc. causes
heart to produce such a smooth rhythm that healthy for cardiovascular system and
nervous system balance .
Researchers have found that when people are in close proximity there is an
exchange of energy. Practices like reki and chi gong are based on the fact that
an exchange of energy occurs that facilitates healing.
Heart brain interaction:
An experiment was conducted in which mothers brain waves taken from EEG was
compared with her infants heart waves taken with the help of ECG. It was
observed that the mother’s brain waves were synchronized with the infant’s heart
waves. This indicates that the electromagnetic signals from heart have the
potential to affect others around the person like a mother, when she is focused
towards her child, becomes sensitive to the signals generated by its heart.
Researchers have noticed the presence of neurons the heart so some are of the
view that may be heart can think or else cells of living tissues could have the
capacity to remember. Scientists have discovered a neuron(cells of nervous
system) network present in the heart can be thought of as a small brain that
could be capable of having memories. These memories seem to be helpful for
muscle co-ordination going on in the heart. As the heart can be transplanted, it
shows that there is a long-term memory stored in the heart for its rhythms. When
the heart is removed, it is taken out of the donor’s body and stays alive for up
to four hours. Once the heart is connected into its new recipient, it begins to
beat again as soon as the blood enters it. Allthis could be attributed to the
presence of neurons that enable the heart to remember beat again.
Some people on the other hand consider heart as an organ composed of tissues
whose major job is to pump blood throughout the body which contains neurons and
not the brain cell. Neurons, helping in regulating cardiac function, can’t be
regarded as a mind.
At times we are confused weather to follow our brain or heart. It becomes
difficult to choose between thoughts and feelings. No doubt feelings are at
times linked to intuition and help us understand the world beyond logic but
following one while leaving the other can lead us to a trouble.
“the mind can calculate what the spirit yearns and the heart wants what the
heart wants”, Stephen King