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Brain Labs

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Did you know the human body actually has three brains? Neuroscience over the last few years has shown that aside from your head brain (the one we’re all familiar with, the ‘cephalic brain’), we also have a heart-brain (‘cardiac brain’) and a gut-brain (‘enteric brain’).

Each of these brains is a sophisticated system of sensory neurons, motor neurons, neurotransmitters, and ganglia. They are able to receive and process information, store it, and access it again when needed. They can: sense, learn, remember, communicate, and change!

Cephalic Brain (Head)

  • ·       86 billion neurons
  • ·       The seat of language, cognition, perception, consciousness, and creativity
  • ·       Recognises, gives meaning, creates narratives, semantic processing, narrative, metaphor
  • ·       “I think,” “I reckon,” “I understand”

Cardiac Brain (Heart)

  • ·       40,000 neurons that can operate independently from the head brain
  • ·       Handles emotional processing, expression of values, and interpersonal connections
  • ·       “I feel,” “My heart says,” “Heavy/light heart”

Enteric Brain (Gut)

  • ·       In fact, as Evolution suggests, out 'first' Brain and the most important
  • ·       500 million neurons
  • ·       Controls self-preservation and mobilisation, respond to challenges, opposition, and danger
  • ·       Determines the core sense of self
  • ·       “It takes guts,” “my gut tells me”

 

What prevents these three brains from working together? Some of it is simply that one or two of the brains override the other/s.” Different people will have different leanings as to which of these three brains dominate us the most. “It is a neural network. The neural networks will grow the more you use them. Some people will have much more of an orientation towards, say, the head function.

We are a complex processing machine.  The more we know about how each of these “brains” work in concert, the more we can bring our brains and bodies in concert to create a happier, healthier us.