Term “heart brain introduced by Armour (1994). Armour explained the heart intrinsic nervous system, complexes of ganglia present in five atrial and five ventricular areas.


Heart has its own nervous system, which produces emotions and communicate through hormones. Past research shows the

importance of heart in producing emotions.

Related Questions:
  • How heart communicates via hormones?
  • How heart produce magnetic field?

In the world of emotions, heart is consider as the source of emotions and perceptions. The concept of mind is of central importance for psychiatrists and psychologists. Although it is usually studied under the section of ‘Philosophical aspects of psychiatry/psychology’.

Key words: Magnetic field, Hormones, Nervous system

How hearts feel emotions?

Heart plays important role in producing emotions and controlling other functions. More interestingly, past researches have shown that how heart produce emotions, magnetic field and communicate via hormones.

  • Heart seems simple pump with complex function:

The heart is looks like simple pump. It is act as highly complex, self-organizing information processing center. It has own functional ‘brain’ that communicates with, and influences, the cranial brain via the nervous system, hormonal system and other pathways.

  • Heart as intuitive piece: The involvement of the heart with intuitive functions is interesting piece of information. Persons with transplanted hearts can function normally. The heart considered 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).
  • Communication of Heart V/S brain
  • Precision and reaction of brain:

In several studies explained that the heart communicates with the brain and affect our precision and reaction. 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. Neurophysiologists discovered a neural pathway and mechanism. Input from the heart to the brain could inhibit or facilitate the brain’s electrical activity (McCraty, 2002).

Heart and neural connection:

Normally, the heart communicates with the brain via nerve fibers running through the vagus nerve and the spinal column. Heart contains almost 40000 neurons called sensory neuritis. Through several afferents brain receives information of sensation (feelings). These afferent nerve pathways enter the brain where they may influence perception, decision making and other cognitive processes. Heart has its own intrinsic nervous system. It operates and processes information independently of the brain or nervous system.

Heart and emotions

Changes in emotions are accompanied by predictable changes in the heart rate, blood pressure, respiration and digestion. In aroused condition, the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system energizes us for fight or flight. In more quiet times, the parasympathetic component cools us down. The autonomic nervous system and the physiological responses move with the brain’s response towards the given stimulus. Afferent input from the heart and cardiovascular system affect perception and behavior. Many afferent signals from the heart influence cortical activity. It affects the higher perceptual activity and mental processing (Rollin McCraty, 2003).

How heart communicates via hormones

Component of the heart-brain communication system was provided by researchers studying the hormonal system. The heart was reclassified as an endocrine gland in 1983. A hormone produced and released by the heart called atrial natriuretic factor (ANF). This hormone exerts its effect on the blood vessels and on the kidneys. It exert effect on the adrenal glands and on a large number of regulatory regions in the brain. Heart contains a cell type known as ‘intrinsic cardiac adrenergic’’ (ICA) cells produce noradrenaline and dopamine neurotransmitters.

  • Oxytocin hormone effect:

Heart secretes oxytocin, known as ‘love’ or bonding hormone. This hormone involved in cognition, tolerance and adaptation. It’s involvement in complex sexual, maternal behaviors, learning social cues and the establishment of enduring pair bonds. Concentrations of oxytocin in the heart were found to be as high as in brain.

The heart’s magnetic field

Research revealed that the heart communicates information to the brain and throughout the body through electromagnetic field interactions. The heart generates the body’s most powerful and most extensive rhythmic electromagnetic field. The heart’s magnetic field is stronger (five hundred times) to brain’s magnetic field. Heart magnetic field can detected several feet away from the body. This heart field acts as a carrier wave for information that provides a global signal for the entire body.

Important evidences and recent findings regarding heart as second brain: It was thought that conscious awareness are just originates in the brain. Recent scientific studies suggest that consciousness emerges from the brain and body acting together. Now it is suggest that, heart has important role in producing emotions and perception. It action as a hormonal gland, produces magnetic field and a little brain present in the form of intrinsic ganglia. Heart is considered as a source of wisdom and emotions.

Ancient Egyptian Concept

Concept of ancient Egyptians: They said “heart is the organ of truth”. Heart able to tell you the truth about how you feel. what you think is right or wrong. Heart and brain both involve in producing of emotions. 40000 neurons of heart have ability to making decisions. Our heart affect the mind. Donor received memory from recipient in heart transplantation. This visions give understanding to the concept of brain as a multi-component unit. Brain is interacting with the physical environment through demonstrable means. It have the capacity to communicate with the cosmic universe through non-physical pathways.


  • Armour J A (1994), Neurocardiology: Anatomical and Functional Principles, New York, NY, Oxford University Press: 3-19.
  • Armour J. A. (2004), Cardiac neuronal hierarchy in health and disease, Americanjournal of physiology, regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology. Aug; 287(2):R262-71.
  • Henry J (2005), Parapsychology, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group: 91- 148
  • Radin D I (1997), The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena, Harper Edge, San Francisco, 1997: 61-174
  • Cantin M. and Genest J. (1986), The heart as an endocrine gland, Clinical and Investigative Medicine; 9(4): 319-327
  • Salem, MO (2004) The Necessity to Review Psychiatric Curricula, e-Community; International Journal of Mental Health & Addiction, Mental Health Care in the Gulf Conference Proceedings
  • McCraty R (2002), Influence of Cardiac Afferent Input on Heart-Brain Synchronization and Cognitive Performance. International Journal of Psychophysiology; 45(1-2):72-73.
  • Popper K and Eccles J C (2000), The Self-Conscious Mind and the Brain. In: The Self and Its Brain. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, London and New York: 355-376
  • Lorimer D (2001), Thinking Beyond the Brain: A Wider Science of Consciousness; 34-80. Floris Books, Edinburgh, UK.
Authors :  Aiza kamal khan Alishbah Roobi

By Aiza kamal khan

Faculty of Veterinary ScienceDepartment of Physiology and PharmacologyThe University of Agriculture, FSD, PAK