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The little brain on the heart

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... Several years ago, some investigators proved the existence a little brain on the heart which acts like a real brain in the head [1]. This 'little brain' on the heart is comprised of spatially distributed sensory (afferent), interconnecting (local circuit) and motor (adrenergic and cholinergic efferent) neurones that communicate with others in intrathoracic extracardiac ganglia, all under the tonic influence of central neuronal command and circulating catecholamines. ...
... Previously, it has been shown that there is a little brain in the heart that can control some activities of the body [1], [2]. In Figure 1, the location and distribution of intrinsic cardiac ganglia are shown [15]. ...
... These genetic circuits act as the receiver or sender of radio eaves [17]. [1], [15] To transfer information of these genetic circuits, two types of circuits have emerged. First circuits are built of neurons and form a neural network within the brain. ...
Article
To recover chick embryos damaged the brain, two methods are presented. In both of them, somatic cells of an embryo introduced into an egg cell and an embryo have emerged. In one method, injured a part of the brain in the head of an embryo is replaced with a healthy part of the brain. In the second method, the heart of brain embryo dead is transplanted with the embryo heart. In this mechanism, new blood cells are emerged in the bone marrow and transmit information of transplantation to subventricular zone (SVZ) of the brain through the circulatory system. Then, SVZ produces new neural stem cells by a subsequent dividing into neurons. These neurons produce new neural circuits within the brain and recover the injured brain. To examine the model, two hearts of two embryos are connected, and their effects on neural circuits are observed.
... Given our interoceptive processing and embodied cognition emerges up from embodied neural circuits into the deep limbic structures and eventually the frontal lobes of our cranial brain (Critchley, 2009;Critchley & Harrison, 2013), then this neuroceptive processing must deeply involve our system of autonomic afferents (Craig, 2014;Critchley, 2009;Porges, 2001Porges, , 2011. And this embodied autonomic and affective processing has two major key neural systems communicating to it and interacting with it within the body: the intrinsic cardiac neural plexus (Armour, 2007) and the enteric neural plexus (Gershon, 1999). ...
... The heart contains a complex, functional and adaptive intrinsic neural network (Armour, 2007). Intracardiac neurons are concentrated in multiple heart ganglia, and the structure of the interactions between neurons, both within intracardiac ganglia and also between individual ganglia, provide the basis for the complex nervous network of the heart (both anatomically and functionally) and has been labeled by researchers in the new field of neurocardiology as a functional "brain" (Ardell, 2004;Brack, 2014;Kukanova & Mravec, 2006;D. ...
... Dr. J. Andrew Armour (1991), a pioneer in this field, has undertaken extensive research and introduced the concept of the intrinsic cardiac network as a functional "heart brain." His work demonstrated a complex intrinsic nervous system in the heart, that is deemed sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a "little brain" in its own right (Armour, 2007). The complexity of the neural circuitry in the heart allows independent action, separate from the cranial brain. ...
Article
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There is a growing body of literature that supports the idea that decision making involves not only cognition, but also emotion and intuition. However, following extant “dual-process” decision theories, the emotional and intuitive aspects of decision making have predominantly been considered as one “experiential” entity. The purpose of this article is to review the neurological evidence for a three-factor model of head, heart, and gut aspects of embodied cognition in decision making and to report on a study carried out to design and validate a psychometric instrument that measures decision-making preferences across three separable interoceptive components, representing the complex, functional, and adaptive neural networks (or “brains”) of head (analytical/cognitive), heart (emotional/affective), and gut (intuition). Development and validation of the Multiple Brain Preference Questionnaire (MBPQ) instrument was carried out in three phases. Translational validity was assessed using content and face validity. Construct validity was undertaken via exploratory factor analysis of the results from the use of the instrument with 301 subjects from a global sampling, and reliability tests were performed using internal consistency and test–retest analysis. Results confirmed extraction of three factors (head, heart, and gut) was appropriate and reliability analysis showed the MBPQ to be both valid and reliable. Applications of the tool to coaching and leadership are suggested.
... In recent decades, a rich network of intrinsic cardiac nerves that converge to form distinct ganglia and extend across the heart has been documented in mammalian species including dog, cat, pig, guinea pig, mouse, as well as human. 1 Evidence suggests that activity within these ganglia may result in cardiac changes both locally and in other regions of the myocardium, independent of extrinsic autonomic nerves. [1][2][3][4] This has given rise to the notion that such an intrinsic cardiac nervous system (ICNS) acts as the heart's "little brain," capable of influencing cardiac function 5,6 even in the absence of extrinsic autonomic input, although this has not been directly tested. ...
... 9,11,12 This would suggest that ganglia are also functionally diverse and could provide key knowledge to understand the remodeling of ganglia in cardiac diseases such as heart failure and atrial/ventricular arrhythmias. 13,14 Our understanding of the cardiac regulatory functions of this dispersed epicardial ganglionic plexus is limited, presently depending either on electrophysiological studies of cells in isolated atria or on in situ heart studies in anesthetized dogs 6 with intact extrinsic autonomic nerves. Therefore, we considered that the Langendorff-perfused rabbit heart 15 could overcome these limitations and provide a valuable model to study the integrative action of the ICNS and its significance on cardiac performance in the isolation of circulating and extraneuronal factors. ...
... 3,28 Taken together, these data support the notion that the mammalian heart has its own nervous system, whereby groups of neurons connect with spatially diverse intrinsic cardiac ganglia to influence myocardial activity and function. 6,29 The present study also tested the synaptic interaction and junctional receptor transmission involved in the cardiac responses. We showed that the effects of the chemical or electric current observed depended on cholinergic nicotinic ganglion transmission and that bradycardiac effects were mediated by cholinergic muscarinic receptors while tachycardic effects were mediated via postganglionic b-adrenoreceptor activation. ...
Article
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Background The intrinsic cardiac nervous system is a rich network of cardiac nerves that converge to form distinct ganglia and extend across the heart and is capable of influencing cardiac function. Objective The goals of this study were to provide a complete picture of the neurotransmitter/neuromodulator profile of the rabbit intrinsic cardiac nervous system and to determine the influence of spatially divergent ganglia on cardiac electrophysiology. Methods Nicotinic or electrical stimulation was applied at discrete sites of the intrinsic cardiac nerve plexus in the Langendorff-perfused rabbit heart. Functional effects on sinus rate and atrioventricular conduction were measured. Immunohistochemistry for choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), tyrosine hydroxylase, and/or neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) was performed using whole mount preparations. Results Stimulation within all ganglia produced either bradycardia, tachycardia, or a biphasic brady-tachycardia. Electrical stimulation of the right atrial and right neuronal cluster regions produced the largest chronotropic responses. Significant prolongation of atrioventricular conduction was predominant at the pulmonary vein-caudal vein region. Neurons immunoreactive (IR) only for ChAT, tyrosine hydroxylase, or nNOS were consistently located within the limits of the hilum and at the roots of the right cranial and right pulmonary veins. ChAT-IR neurons were most abundant (1946 ± 668 neurons). Neurons IR only for nNOS were distributed within ganglia. Conclusion Stimulation of intrinsic ganglia, shown to be of phenotypic complexity but predominantly of cholinergic nature, indicates that clusters of neurons are capable of independent selective effects on cardiac electrophysiology, therefore providing a potential therapeutic target for the prevention and treatment of cardiac disease.
... Indeed, whereas intracardiac neurons were initially considered as simple parasympathetic postganglionic neurons, studies conducted over the past 30 years have suggested a more complex organization, including sensory, local regulatory, and motor neurons within intracardiac ganglia, finally leading to the concept of "little brain on the heart." 1 Phenotypic studies have been conducted in many species to identify several neuronal subpopulations. Besides cholinergic phenotype, the presence of catecholaminergic, glutama-tergic, and nitregic phenotypes have been described in intracardiac neurons. ...
... The neural control of the heart involves a combination of peripheral and intrinsic neural structures. 1 In order to investigate global cardiac innervation in the mouse, we performed detection of cholinergic (ChAT-IR) and catecholaminergic immunoreactivity (TH-IR) structures on cleared murine hearts. ...
Article
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Background The intracardiac nervous system (ICNS) refers to clusters of neurons, located within the heart, which participate to the neuronal regulation of cardiac functions and which are involved in the initiation of cardiac arrhythmias. Therefore, deciphering its role in cardiac physiology and physiopathology is mandatory. Objective The aim of this study is to provide a phenotypic, electrophysiological and pharmacological characterization of the mouse ICNS, which is still poorly characterized. Methods Global cardiac innervation and phenotypic diversity were investigated using immunohistochemistry on cleared murine heart and on tissue sections. Patch clamp technique was used for electrophysiological and pharmacological characterization of isolated mouse intracardiac neurons. Results We have identified the expression of seven distinct neuronal markers within mouse ICNS, thus proving the neurochemical diversity of this network. Of note, it was the first time that the existence of neurons expressing the calcium binding protein calbindin, the neuropeptide Y (NPY) and the cocain and amphetamine regulated transcript (CART) peptide, was described in the mouse. Electrophysiological studies also revealed the existence of four different neuronal populations based on their electrical behavior. Finally, we showed that these neurons can be modulated by several neuromodulators. Conclusion This study showed that mouse ICNS presents a molecular and functional complexity similar to other species, and is therefore a suitable model to decipher the role of individual neuronal subtypes regarding the modulation of cardiac function and the initiation of cardiac arrhythmias.
... When considering such complexity of the brain-heart neural wiring, the awareness emerges that brain-to-heart communication should not be simplified to the interaction between a brainy regulator and a heartly executor. The "little brain of the heart, " promoting this self-excitable muscle from mere hydraulic pump to sophisticated "neuro-muscular" organ (Armour, 2007(Armour, , 2008, calls for its bright spot in the theater of physiology. ...
... The heart homes indeed a large series of different neuron types orderly networked in subsystems and circuits, receiving (as described above), integrating and sending neuronal impulses from and to the brain, justifying the proposed concept of "the little brain" of the heart (Armour, 2007(Armour, , 2008. In addition to the efferent fibers of the two main branches of the ANS, the myocardium is densely innervated by sensory neurons, and the two systems are peripherally regulated by the interacting neurons residing in the INS. ...
Article
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The cardiac autonomic nervous system (ANS) is the main modulator of heart function, adapting contraction force, and rate to the continuous variations of intrinsic and extrinsic environmental conditions. While the parasympathetic branch dominates during rest-and-digest sympathetic neuron (SN) activation ensures the rapid, efficient, and repeatable increase of heart performance, e.g., during the “fight-or-flight response.” Although the key role of the nervous system in cardiac homeostasis was evident to the eyes of physiologists and cardiologists, the degree of cardiac innervation, and the complexity of its circuits has remained underestimated for too long. In addition, the mechanisms allowing elevated efficiency and precision of neurogenic control of heart function have somehow lingered in the dark. This can be ascribed to the absence of methods adequate to study complex cardiac electric circuits in the unceasingly moving heart. An increasing number of studies adds to the scenario the evidence of an intracardiac neuron system, which, together with the autonomic components, define a little brain inside the heart, in fervent dialogue with the central nervous system (CNS). The advent of optogenetics, allowing control the activity of excitable cells with cell specificity, spatial selectivity, and temporal resolution, has allowed to shed light on basic neuro-cardiology. This review describes how optogenetics, which has extensively been used to interrogate the circuits of the CNS, has been applied to untangle the knots of heart innervation, unveiling the cellular mechanisms of neurogenic control of heart function, in physiology and pathology, as well as those participating to brain–heart communication, back and forth. We discuss existing literature, providing a comprehensive view of the advancement in the understanding of the mechanisms of neurogenic heart control. In addition, we weigh the limits and potential of optogenetics in basic and applied research in neuro-cardiology.
... Some assigns the central role to the heart while other assigns this role to the brain. In some studies it is argued that many of the functionality like sensation, emotion, intuition, thinking, information processing and coherence are related to the brain [1] while other studies argue that the important characteristic like thinking power, processing and many others capabilities are not restricted to brain [13,12]. There are views that heart contains neurons which provide the ability for thinking, sensing and maintaining its operations. ...
... Intuition. Heart s field is directly involved in intuitive awareness, through its combination to an energetic information field [13]. The facts show that the heart and brain take in and react to information about events. ...
Article
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Heart in the human body is a muscular organ that pumps blood to the different organs. However, there are some studies that advocate for some additional functionality of the human heart. Our long term goal is to visualize this extra ordinary role of the human heart through computer technology. In this article we present our initial study about the different views from ancient philosophers to modern scientists that believed hearts role beyond the pumping machine. We believe that this initial study will also be interesting for research community of the social science field.
... Anatomical and Physiological Bases of the Brain-Heart Integration: Neurocardiology Like the gastrointestinal system [58], the heart possesses a sufficiently extensive neuronal network to be characterized as its own "little brain" [59,60]. The so-called intrinsic cardiac nervous system is connected to intrathoracic nervous ganglia, extrathoracic ganglions, spinal cord, and cortical nerve centers. ...
... Starting from this evidence, a growing body of research indicates that the afferent information processed by the intrinsic cardiac nervous system [60] can influence activity in the frontocortical areas [74][75][76] and motor cortex [77][78][79], affecting psychological factors, such as attention level, motivation [80], perceptual sensitivity [81], and emotional processing [82,83]. Figure 15.3 describes the connections between the intrinsic cardiac neurons, the brainstem, the hypothalamus, the thalamus, the amygdala, and the cerebral cortex [66,90]. ...
Chapter
The heart can be viewed not just as muscle pump but also as an important checkpoint for a complex network of nervous, endocrine, and immune signals. The heart is able to process neurological signals independently from the brain and to crosstalk with the endocrine and immune systems. The heart communicates with the psyche through the neuro-endocrine-immune system in a highly integrated way, in order to maintain the homeostasis of the whole body with peculiarities specific to males and females. © 2018, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature.
... In addition, SAN function can be affected by numerous neurotransmitters and peptides (Macdonald et al., 2020), some of which could impact HR and HR as assessed using MSMFDFA. Furthermore, the intracardiac nervous system and neurotransmitters produced within epicardial cardiac ganglia (Armour, 2007) could each have impacts on HR and HRV. These will be important areas for future study. ...
Article
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Nonlinear analyses of heart rate variability (HRV) can be used to quantify the unpredictability, fractal properties and complexity of heart rate. Fractality and its analysis provides valuable information about cardiovascular health. Multi-Scale Multi-Fractal Detrended Fluctuation Analysis (MSMFDFA) is a complexity-based algorithm that can be used to quantify the multi-fractal dynamics of the HRV time series through investigating characteristic exponents at different time scales. This method is applicable to short time series and it is robust to noise and nonstationarity. We have used MSMFDFA, which enables assessment of HRV in the frequency ranges encompassing the very-low frequency and ultra-low frequency bands, to jointly assess multi-scale and multi-fractal dynamics of HRV signals obtained from telemetric ECG recordings in wildtype mice at baseline and after autonomic nervous system (ANS) blockade, from electrograms recorded from isolated atrial preparations and from spontaneous action potential recordings in isolated sinoatrial node myocytes. Data demonstrate that the fractal profile of the intrinsic heart rate is significantly different from the baseline heart rate in vivo , and it is also altered after ANS blockade at specific scales and fractal order domains. For beating rate in isolated atrial preparations and intrinsic heart rate in vivo , the average fractal structure of the HRV increased and multi-fractality strength decreased. These data demonstrate that fractal properties of the HRV depend on both ANS activity and intrinsic sinoatrial node function and that assessing multi-fractality at different time scales is an effective approach for HRV assessment.
... It is worth noting that not only hemodynamic deficits, i.e., the reduction of CBF, but also other mechanisms can escalate cognitive decline secondary to HF. Indeed, several studies highlight how between heart and brain subsists a close bidirectional communication that also concerns bioelectric and endocrine signaling [62][63][64]. According to this view, damages or dysfunctions affecting one of the two organs reverberate on the other, triggering a vicious loop. ...
Article
By definition, heart failure (HF) is a human pathological condition affecting the structure and function of all organs in the body, and the brain is not an exception to that. Failure of the heart to pump enough blood centrally and peripherally is at the foundation of HF patients' inability to attend even the most ordinary daily activities and progressive deterioration of their cognitive capacity. What is more, between heart and brain exists a bidirectional relationship that goes well beyond hemodynamics and concerns bioelectric and endocrine signaling. This increasingly consolidated evidence makes the scenario even more complex. Studies have mainly chased how HF impairs cognition without focusing much on preventive measures, notably cardio-cerebral health proxies. Here, we aim to provide a brief account of known and hypothetical factors that may explain how exercise can help obviate cognitive dysfunction associated with HF in its different forms. As we shall see, there is a stringent need for a deeper grasp of such mechanisms. Indeed, gaining this new knowledge will automatically shed new light on the inner workings of HF itself, thus resulting in more effective prevention and treatment of this escalating syndrome.
... Furthermore, Andrew Armour, a medical researcher from the University of Montreal, noted that the heart has a mind that can perform its own functions (Armour, 1991), which shows that we are facing a complex phenomenon (Armour, 2007). Research that studies the impact of the heart on social psychology has shown that the heart has a critical role not only in keeping humans alive, but also in how a human being relates to people and how they interact with each other (Waytz, 2010). ...
Article
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The aim of the study is to explore the interaction between finance and neurosciences, which is one of the emerging research areas since the beginning of the new millennium. After highlighting the underlying epistemological presuppositions of this new field of knowledge, the study reviews its most important characteristics compared with neoclassical and behavioral schools. In reference to an approach inspired by classical and contemporary Quranic exegesis of the verse ﴾ they should have had hearts to understand with ﴿ (Quran, s. 22, v. 46) distinguishing between the reason related to representation and cognition and that related to conduct and how to deal with problems in life. There can be degrees of uncertainty and interactions between reason and emotion. Community functioning between the heart and the brain takes precedence over the competition, survival of the fittest, and zero-sum game mechanisms. This new approach could allow finance to exploit neurosciences by combining functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), with heart rate variability (HRV) to highlight the importance of reason and emotion in economic life beyond calculation. We need to shift how we think about emotion and how we feel about thought.
... Likewise, afferent subpopulations in NGs receive sensory information from only the internal organs including the heart, lungs and intestines (Chang et al., 2015;Williams et al., 2016). This visceral sensory input often feedbacks the autonomic nervous system to maintain physiological function and homeostasis (Armour, 2007). ...
Article
The identity of sensory neurons innervating the heart tissue and the extent of information reported to the brain via these neurons are poorly understood. In order to evaluate the multidimensional distribution and abundance of the cardiac spinal and vagal afferents, we assessed the retrograde labeling efficiency of various tracers, and mapped the cardiac afferents qualitatively and quantitatively at the bilateral nodose ganglia (NGs) and dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). From the five different retrograde tracers evaluated, Di-8-ANEPPQ yielded reproducibly the highest labeling efficiency of cardiac afferents. We demonstrated specific cardiac afferents at NGs and C4 to T11 DRG segments. Next, the 2D reconstruction of the tissue sections and 3D imaging of the whole NGs and DRGs revealed homogeneous and bilateral distribution of cardiac afferents. The quantitative analyses of the labeled cardiac afferents demonstrated approximately 5–6% of the soma in NGs that were equally distributed bilaterally. The neuronal character of Di-8-ANEPPQ labeled cells were validated by coimmunostaning with pan-neuronal marker Tuj-1. In addition, the cell diameters of labeled cardiac sensory neurons were found smaller than 20 μm, implying the nociceptor phenotype confirmed by co-labeling with TRPV1 and Di-8-ANEPPQ. Importantly, co-labeling with two distinct tracers Di-8-ANEPPQ and WGA-647 demonstrated exclusively the same cardiac afferents in DRGs and NGs, validating our findings. Collectively, our findings revealed the cardiac afferents in NGs bilaterally and DRGs with the highest labeling efficiency reported, spatial distribution and quantitation at both 2D and 3D levels, furthering our understanding of this novel neuron population.
... Armour JA studies revealed that the heart also possesses a complex intrinsic cardiac nervous system (ICNS) constituted by an intricate network of various types of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins, and supporting cells similarly to the brain; for this reason, he introduced the concept of "the little brain on the heart" [24]. Historically, it was believed that intrinsic ganglia were simple relay stations for parasympathetic signals and therefore would only contain cholinergic markers. ...
Chapter
The tight crosstalk between heart and brain is becoming increasingly recognized as the underlying mutual mechanisms are better identified, having a potential impact for clinical approach. Cardiac control is achieved by means of a three-level hierarchical neuronal network (central nervous system neurons, extracardiac-intrathoracic neurons, and intrinsic cardiac nervous system), where all the components work together to fulfill the physiological demands. However, each component of this network can undergo pathologic-mediated changes due to the transduction of altered sensory inputs originating from a deteriorating heart. A key role in the maintenance of cardiovascular homeostasis is played by the autonomic nervous system with its sympathetic and parasympathetic branches, which operate in a reciprocal manner. Heart rate best mirrors the relative balance between these two systems, and especially heart rate variability has emerged as a key parameter that reflects the health status of a given individual. Neural reflexes (i.e., the baroreceptor reflex) and several neuromodulators released from the heart itself or coming from other sites, as well as neurotrophins, also contribute to cardiovascular homeostasis and will be considered in the present chapter. A deeper understanding of heart-brain interactions will facilitate the prompt recognition and management of cardiac diseases, as well as of neurologic disorders associated to heart dysfunction, and, at the same time, will help in optimizing the therapeutic approach.
... The sympathetic innervation of the rat heart after MI was investigated by retrograde neuronal tracing and multiple label immunohistochemistry. Injections of WGA-HRP made into the left ventricular wall labeled sympathetic neurons that were located in SCG, then confirm the existence of this link between heart and SCG. Cervical sympathetic ganglia were not only a simple relaying station for signals, but also an integration center for all kinds of neurotransmission [45][46][47]. ...
Article
Background: Myocardial infarction (MI) accompanied with abnormal sympathetic innervation, meanwhile, some studies have revealed the oxytocin (OT) and its receptor (OTR) have a relationship with MI and sympathetic system. It is assumed that OT has an close relationship with superior cervical ganglion (SCG), but the existence of oxytocin receptors in SCG has not been well clarified. Objective: Our research aims to explore the expression of OTR in SCG in the setting of MI. Methods and results: MI was induced by coronary artery ligation. Rats were randomly assigned to 2 groups: control, MI. The expression of OTR was measured by Western blotting. Distribution of OTR in SCG was investigated by immunofluorescence. Retrograde tracing test revealed the sprouting of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH: the markers of sensory afferent fibers) from cardiac to SCG neurons. The double-immunofluorescence evidence showed that OTR was co-localized and concomitantly changed with TH and the retrograde neuronal labeling from the cardiac afferent nerves. By Western blotting, the protein of OTR in the MI group was higher than those of the control group. Conclusions: The expression of OTR in SCG after experimental myocardial infarction group was enhanced, suggesting the involvement of OTR in SCG may play a role in the transmission of sympathetic responses after MI.
... Until now, many scientists believe that neural circuits in the brain have the main role in voluntary decisions. Although, some investigators have proved the existence a little brain on the heart which acts like a real brain in the head [9], [10]. Also, recent investigations show that patients who gave hearts from donors, obtain some characteristics of them [11]. ...
Article
AIM: In this paper, inspiring Darwin’s theory, we propose a model which connects evolutions of neural circuits with evolutions of cosmos. In this model, in the beginning, there are some closed strings which decay into two groups of open strings. METHODS: First group couple to our universe from one side and produce matters like some genes of DNAs and couple to an anti-universe from another side with opposite sign and create anti-matters like some anti-genes of anti-DNAs. Second group couple to the star and planet’s cores like the earth’s core from one side and produce anti-matters like stringy black anti-DNA and couple to outer layers of stars and planets like the earth from other side and produce matters like some genes of DNAs on the earth. Each DNA or anti-DNA contains some genetic circuits which act like the circuits of receiver or sender of radio waves. To transfer waves of these circuits, some neurons emerge which some of them are related to genetic circuits of anti-DNAs in anti-universe, and some are related to genetic circuits of stringy black anti-DNA within the earth’s core. A collection of these neural circuits forms the little brain on the heart at first and main brain after some time. RESULTS: To examine the model, we remove effects of matters in outer layers of earth in the conditions of microgravity and consider radiated signals of neural circuits in a chick embryo. We observe that in microgravity, more signals are emitted by neural circuits respect to normal conditions. This is a signature of exchanged waves between neural circuits and structures within the earth’s core. CONCLUSION: These communications help some animals to predict the time and place of an earthquake.
... http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/825257 doi: bioRxiv preprint first posted online Oct. 31, 2019; through separate preautonomic neurons 40,87,88 . Light can activate the heart rate through the autonomic nervous system 89 , and thus violet light could either increase the heart rate through sympathetic activation or parasympathetic deactivation. ...
Preprint
Sunlight throughout the day and seasons strongly influences our biological rhythms and activity. In recent years, it has become evident that night-time overexposure to bright light in urban environments can profoundly affect physiology and behaviour in humans and animals. In particular, the artificial emission of short-wavelength light has been shown to stimulate alertness in humans, but the mechanisms remain largely unknown. Utilising a diurnal larval zebrafish model, we identified instant, non-image-forming (NIF) responses to short-wavelength violet light (~420nm), which are activated only during light exposure, and are reminiscent of alertness, including increased heart rate, enhanced locomotor activity, and pectoral fin beating (for increased oxygen supply). We further determined that these responses are driven by sympathetic neuronal circuits and depend on the zebrafish melanopsin homologue Opn4a. We also found that these responses can be modulated by the sleep-regulatory hormone melatonin, but that melatonin is not essential. Our findings reveal a previously unknown mechanism for violet light-dependent acute alertness.
... Hal itu dimungkinkan karena jantung memiliki sistem saraf intrinsik. 11 Satu hal yang menarik adalah pengalaman orang yang telah menjalani operasi transplantasi jantung. Beberapa diantaranya melaporkan bahwa mereka merasa mengalami perubahan dalam kebiasaan, kesukaan atau hobby bahkan kepribadian. ...
Conference Paper
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Tidak bisa dipungkiri, islam pernah berjaya dalam dunia sains dan teknologi. Sebutlah misalnya Ibnu Sina, Al Biruni dan Ibnu Rushd. Mereka selain paham akan agama juga pakar dalam berbagai ilmu sains seperti kedokteran, kimia, Astronomi dan bidang ilmu yang lainnya. Pendidikan dengan metode hybrid bisa menjadi solusi. Padatnya kurikulum di sekolah akan menjadi hambatan. Al quran adalah suatu kitab yang tidak ada keraguan didalamnya. Dengan menguasai ilmu pengetahuan dan teknologi, akan sangat membantu untuk memahami lebih dalam tentang kandungan Al quran. Tulisan ini akan membahas kandungan Al quran dalam perspektif neurosains. Selain itu, pada akhir tulisan ini kita akan juga melihat bagaimana peranan islam dalam mewujudkan kesehatan fisik dan mental
... The baroreflex is blunted in chronic HF patients and there is loss of inhibitory input and increased excitatory output that leads to loss of heart rate variability (HRV), higher peripheral vascular resistance, increased SNS activity and decreased PNS activity [16][17][18][19][20]. The low cardiac output in HF leads to reduced renal perfusion, which causes a release of renin and angiotensin II synthesis, ultimately leading to reflexive SNS activation and adverse cardiac remodeling [21]. ...
Article
Heart failure (HF) is one of the most prevalent cardiovascular diseases and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Mechanistically, HF is characterized by an overactive sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic withdrawal, and this autonomic imbalance contributes to the progression of the disease. As such, modulation of autonomic nervous system by device-based therapy is an attractive treatment target. In this review, we discuss the role of autonomic nervous system dysfunction in the pathogenesis of HF and present the available evidence regarding vagus nerve stimulation for HF, with special emphasis on optimization of stimulation parameters. Finally, we discuss future avenues of research for neuromodulation in patients with HF.
... Armour JA studies revealed that the heart also possesses a complex intrinsic cardiac nervous system (ICNS) constituted by an intricate network of various types of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins, and supporting cells similarly to the brain; for this reason, he introduced the concept of "the little brain on the heart" [24]. Historically, it was believed that intrinsic ganglia were simple relay stations for parasympathetic signals and therefore would only contain cholinergic markers. ...
... This is probably related to a level of consciousness, which is linked to the quality of consciousness that is experienced by young children prior to their learning to develop their thinking minds. Research into the heart shows that it has a brain of its own (Armour, 1991;2007;2008) and more information is sent from heart to the brain than vice versa (McCraty, 2009). ...
Article
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Far from offering a tentative structured theory or solution regarding the urgently needed reforms concerning education in the 21st century, we limit ourselves to some punctual considerations of how education can prepare students for the future. Even if they are not directly connected, we hope they may help in creating the indispensable radical paradigm shift in the way we teach and learn, which is needed to meet the multi-dimensional challenges confronting global society in the 21st century. They involve the following points: an attitudinal change from memorizing to understanding; openness to the internet requirements of the present 4th Industrial Revolution; and developing a connection to Nature and our inner Self or essence, so students can get guidance in their lives and also to help find solutions for the many problems humanity faces today
... The myocardium is not a simple pump run by the admixture of efferent parasympathetic and sympathetic signals, rather it is a system with the ability to integrate information via the intrinsic cardiac nervous system, a network of ganglia and nerves on the epicardium (Armour, 2007;Armour, 2008). ...
Preprint
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Psychological theories often build from theoretically separate fields in the biosciences – physiology, biology, neuroscience, etc. – to situate human behavior within the body. However, these are increasingly sophisticated areas of research which rapidly change and adapt their evidence base. The current paper is a case study examining what happens to psychological research when its foundational biological context is invalidated or superseded. The example we use is heart rate variability (HRV) as a purported measure of cardiac sympathetic outflow. While objections to this technique within physiological research have been established and confirmed for decades, its false status continues to be maintained in applied psychological research. We review a combination of factors within scientific and publishing practice, practical and conceptual barriers to experimental interface, and personal/professional value of the invalidated theory in attempt to understand how dead science can be kept alive in psychological science.
... In lay terms we talk of 'gut-feeling' and 'intuition' and recent studies have shown how we have deep neural circuitry in the body, which communicates information from the body up to the head brain. In this brief paper we will focus on using the latest information regarding the cardiac neural plexus, or heart brain (Armour, 2007) and the enteric neural plexus, or gut brain (Gershon, 1999) when working with clients, which we further suggest could be used as a complementary adjunct to traditional psychotherapy. ...
Article
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Introduction: This paper outlines the scientific background behind the mBraining approach (mBIT - multiple brain integration techniques) regarding the recent research in neuroscience revealing the relationship between the cerebral, enteric and cardiac neural systems and its potential as an optimization tool. In addition, a number of case studies have been detailed, to confirm the effectiveness of this approach and a number of extensive references have been included for further study. Moreover, parallels and common principles with experiential therapeutic approaches are being discussed. Objectives: This paper aims to promote the mBIT approach as a complementary diagnosis and optimization tool with applications in coaching, therapy, counseling and overall personal optimization. Methods: mBIT approach methodology and literature review. Results: The five case studies included in this paper clearly indicate the effectiveness of the mBIT approach in managing and resolving issues such as: occupational stress, anxiety, depression and even in more delicate areas such as takotsubo and bipolar disorder. Conclusions: The mBIT research so far shows us that it can successfully work as a complementary approach with other types of therapeutic approaches, especially experiential psychotherapies
... This is probably related to a level of consciousness, which is linked to the quality of consciousness that is experienced by young children prior to their learning to develop their thinking minds. Research into the heart shows that it has a brain of its own (Armour, 1991;2007;2008) and more information is sent from heart to the brain than vice versa (McCraty, 2009). ...
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Far from offering a tentative structured theory or solution regarding the urgently needed reforms concerning education in the 21st century, we limit ourselves to some punctual considerations of how education can prepare students for the future. Even if they are not directly connected, we hope they may help in creating the indispensable radical paradigm shift in the way we teach and learn, which is needed to meet the multi-dimensional challenges confronting global society in the 21st century. They involve the following points: an attitudinal change from memorizing to understanding; openness to the internet requirements of the present 4th Industrial Revolution; and developing a connection to Nature and our inner Self or essence, so students can get guidance in their lives and also to help find solutions for the many problems humanity faces today.
... It has been found that the heart has been found to have an intrinsic nervous system of its own, containing around 40,000 neurons called sensory neurites. This extensive and complex neural network has been characterized as a brain on the heart or heart-brain (Armour, 1991(Armour, , 2007(Armour, , 2008. This allows the heart to act independently of the brain, sending and receiving meaningful messages of its own through the autonomic nervous system. ...
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Flowers come in many colors, many sizes and many forms and express themselves in different ways. Yet they are all flowers and together they form a most beautiful bouquet! Humans too come in all sizes, shapes and colors, yet they are still humans. Humans also express themselves in different ways, religiously, culturally and individually. The question is how can we form a beautiful bouquet? This involves a deep respect for differences on the one hand, and on the other, it involves a sincere search for ‘that’ what underlies all of us.
... This brings us back to the Feeling Mind-Consciousness postulated by Arka in his theory and which is associated with the heart. Both Armour (2007;2008) and Arka (2013) agree that intuition begins to function at the level of the heart. This seems to be supported by our case study and other heart-based methods of meditation and investigations concerning heart-transplant patients. ...
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This research was to test the third level Arka mentions in his Theory of the Six Main Levels of Consciousness. The paper describes the scale that was constructed (Feeling Consciousness Scale - FCS) and the results obtained from the study. It also includes the drawings of one of the participants which show that accessing our deeper levels of consciousness by learning a meditation method such as the Intuitive Meditation Method, is a process.
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Background The sinoatrial node (SAN) of the heart produces rhythmic action potentials, generated via calcium signaling within and among pacemaker cells. Our previous work has described the SAN as composed of a hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated potassium channel 4 (HCN4)-expressing pacemaker cell meshwork, which merges with a network of connexin 43⁺/F-actin⁺ cells. It is also known that sympathetic and parasympathetic innervation create an autonomic plexus in the SAN that modulates heart rate and rhythm. However, the anatomical details of the interaction of this plexus with the pacemaker cell meshwork have yet to be described. Objectives This study sought to describe the 3-dimensional cytoarchitecture of the mouse SAN, including autonomic innervation, peripheral glial cells, and pacemaker cells. Methods The cytoarchitecture of SAN whole-mount preparations was examined by three-dimensional confocal laser-scanning microscopy of triple immunolabeled with combinations of antibodies for HCN4, S100 calcium-binding protein B (S100B), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), choline acetyltransferase, or vesicular acetylcholine transporter, and tyrosine hydroxylase, and transmission electron microscopy. Results The SAN exhibited heterogeneous autonomic innervation, which was accompanied by a web of peripheral glial cells and a novel S100B⁺/GFAP– interstitial cell population, with a unique morphology and a distinct distribution pattern, creating complex interactions with other cell types in the node, particularly with HCN4-expressing cells. Transmission electron microscopy identified a similar population of interstitial cells as telocytes, which appeared to secrete vesicles toward pacemaker cells. Application of S100B to SAN preparations desynchronized Ca²⁺ signaling in HCN4-expressing cells and increased variability in SAN impulse rate and rhythm. Conclusions The autonomic plexus, peripheral glial cell web, and a novel S100B⁺/GFAP– interstitial cell type embedded within the HCN4⁺ cell meshwork increase the structural and functional complexity of the SAN and provide a new regulatory pathway of rhythmogenesis.
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The central nervous system modulates heart function on a beat-to-beat basis via increasingly understood mechanisms. Conversely, whether and how humoral/functional cardiac variations shape brain activity and adaptive behavior remains unclear. This study shows that mice overexpressing adenylyl cyclase type 8 in myocytes (TGAC8), characterized by persistently elevated heart rate/contractility, also display increased locomotion. This effect is sustained by enhanced gamma rhythms, as evidenced by simultaneous behavioral and EEG/ECG monitoring. These changes are specific because they are not paralleled by other modifications, such as heightened anxiety-like behavior. In unison, TGAC8 mice hippocampus exhibits upregulated GABA-A receptors, whose activation chiefly accounts for gamma activity generation. Moreover, the Granger causality analysis between ECG and EEG attests to the causal involvement of the autonomic component of the heartbeat in shaping EEG gamma oscillations in a bottom-up modality. Mechanistically, TGAC8 harbors elevated circulating dopamine/DOPA levels of cardiac origin and upregulated hippocampal D5 dopamine receptor levels. In synergy with the GABA-A receptor, D5 activation favors hippocampal inhibitory currents that drive EEG gamma oscillations. These studies, therefore, inform how heart-initiated functional and/or humoral modifications reverberate back to the brain to modulate specific primary adaptive responses, such as locomotion.
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Este Documento de Investigación (Working Paper) estudia las raíces biológicas del conocimiento dirigiendo la mirada directamente hacia la biología cuántica. Es posible, y es necesario, se argumenta, superar los reduccionismos y los determinismos,. No es necesarios para nada explicar a los sistemas vivos con base en criterios físico-químicos o bioquímicos. La biología cuántica permite entarv directanmente en la biologia del conocimiento.
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En este texto argumentamos que el conocimiento no se fundamenta en la razón, el entendimiento, el alma o la conciencia como nos lo hicieron pensar ciertos planteamientos filosóficos, teológicos y psicológicos. Más exactamente, este se cimienta en la biología, pues el saber es un acto, un proceso biológico.
Chapter
Cardiac function is regulated by the autonomic nervous system. In exchange, the sensorial information from the heart is relayed to the brain via sensory neurons as a crucial modulatory feedback mechanism. Cardiovascular and neurological diseases constitute the majority of deaths globally. The high morbidity associated with cardiac and neurological disorders is mostly due to the limited number of targeted therapeutics. Moreover, many new drug candidates are withdrawn from clinical use due to cardiotoxicity or neurotoxicity. Previously, experimental animal models, biopsy materials, or immortalized cell lines were the basis of disease studies and drug screens. However, the differences between these models and human physiology particularly in neural and cardiac functions resulted in limited clinical success. To overcome the complications related to the organism mismatch and cell source, human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) provide ways to investigate molecular mechanisms in embryonic, adult, and diseased states. hiPSC-derived cardiac cells and various neuron subtypes could replicate complex interactions in the physiologically relevant organoids or multiorgan microdevices. Using these novel technical developments, recent models of neuronal regulation of heart tissue started to provide unique insights in systemic interactions and molecular basis to develop more precise therapeutic approaches. In this chapter, a brief historical perspective and recent advances in iPSC-based models of cardiac and nervous system interactions are reviewed.
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Background The intracardiac nervous system (ICNS) refers to clusters of neurons, located within the heart, that participate to the neuronal regulation of cardiac functions and are involved in the initiation of cardiac arrhythmias. Therefore, deciphering the role of the ICNS in cardiac physiology and physiopathology is mandatory. Whereas transgenic mouse models represent powerful tools to reach this goal, the mouse ICNS is still poorly characterized. Objective The objective of the present study was to provide a phenotypic, electrophysiological and pharmacological characterization of the mouse ICNS. Methods Global cardiac innervation and phenotypic diversity was investigated by performing immunohistochemistry on cleared murine heart and on tissue sections. Patch clamp technique was used for electrophysiological and pharmacological characterization of isolated mouse intracardiac neurons. Results We identified the expression of 7 distinct neuronal markers within mouse intracardiac neurons demonstrating the neurochemical diversity of this network. Of note, we described for the first time in mouse, the existence of neuron expressing the calcium binding protein calbindin, the neuropeptide Y (NPY) and the cocain and amphetamine regulated transcript (CART) peptide. Electrophysiological studies also revealed the existence of two different neuronal population based on their electrical behavior. Finally, we demonstrated that these neurons can be modulated by several neuromodulators. Conclusion This study demonstrated that mouse ICNS shares similar molecular and functional complexity to that of other species and therefore is a suitable model to decipher the role of individual neuronal subtypes in the modulation of cardiac function and in the initiation of cardiac arrhythmias.
Article
In recent decades, numerous anatomical and physiological studies of the cardiac autonomic nervous system (ANS) have investigated the complex relationships between the brain and the heart. Autonomic activation not only alters heart rate, conduction, and hemodynamics, but also cellular and subcellular properties of individual myocytes. Moreover, the cardiac ANS plays an essential role in cardiac arrhythmogenesis. There is mounting evidence that neural modulation either by ablation or stimulation can effectively control a wide spectrum of cardiac arrhythmias. This article discusses anatomic aspects of the cardiac ANS, focusing on how autonomic activities influence cardiac electrophysiology. Specific autonomic triggers of various cardiac arrhythmias, in particular atrial fibrillation (AF) and ventricular arrhythmias, are also briefly discussed. Studies with heart-rate variability analysis indicate that, rather than being triggered by either vagal or sympathetic activity, the onset of AF can be associated with simultaneous discharge of both limbs, leading to an imbalance between these two arms of the cardiac ANS. At the same time, sudden cardiac death resulting from ventricular arrhythmias continues to be a significant health and societal burden. These nerve activities of the cardiac ANS can be targeted for the treatment for cardiac arrhythmias, in particular AF and ventricular tachyarrhythmias.
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In this comparative article concerned with contrasting Pereira’s and Lindhard’s view on sentience, I give a new twist to consciousness research by including the study of the development of our body during our embryological past as a way of clarifying our fundamental nature and its relationship to cognitive and sentient principles. Here, I advance the idea the heart system is primary and buttresses sentience as a property of our fundamental nature. I base this conjecture on the heart’s electromagnetic pulsating nature, which guides the body's development on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level. This hypothesis may change the debate in consciousness research from biochemical versus bioelectrical ways of understanding the organism's basic functioning to one centering on the relationship between electromagnetic and bioelectrical systems. However, in considering these aspects of life, it is easy to fall into another type of reductionism. "In a wider context, everything is consciousness and consciousness is everything. Neither non-physical conscious life forces, nor energy, nor the physical body alone can sum up the totality of a living entity that thinks, imagines, perceives and understands" .
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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) frequently causes cardiac autonomic dysfunction (CAD), irrespective of its severity, which is associated with an increased morbidity and mortality in patients. Despite the significance of probing the cellular mechanism underlying TBI-induced CAD, animal studies on this mechanism are lacking. In the current study, we tested whether TBI-induced CAD is associated with functional plasticity in cardiac efferent neurons. In this regard, TBI was induced by a controlled cortical impact in rats. Assessment of heart rate variability and baroreflex sensitivity indicated that CAD was developed in the sub-acute period after moderate and severe TBI. The cell excitability was increased in the stellate ganglion (SG) neurons and decreased in the intracardiac ganglion (ICG) neurons in TBI rats, compared with the sham-operated rats. The transient A-type K⁺ (KA) currents, but not the delayed rectifying K⁺ currents were significantly decreased in SG neurons in TBI rats, compared with sham-operated rats. Consistent with these electrophysiological data, the transcripts encoding the Kv4 α subunits were significantly downregulated in SG neurons in TBI rats, compared with sham-operated rats. TBI causes downregulation and upregulation of M-type K⁺ (KM) currents and the KCNQ2 mRNA transcripts, which may contribute to the hyperexcitability of the SG neurons and the hypoexcitability of the ICG neurons, respectively. In conclusion, the key cellular mechanism underlying the TBI-induced CAD may be the functional plasticity of the cardiac efferent neurons, which is caused by the regulation of the KA and/or KM currents.
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COVID 19 is just one more problem we humans have to face today. Crises, such as global warming, species extinction, climate change, and the extended use of anxiolytics and antidepressants by all sections of the population including youngsters, are telling us we are out of sync with Nature, and with our Self. Here, I suggest we need to change the focus of our attention from outside to inside, and from the overextended use of logical thinking mind associated with the brain to the feeling mind linked with the heart. I associate the thinking mind with the male principle and the feeling heart-mind with the female principle. This change can bring about the necessary next step in our evolution by providing us with a way to connect with the deeper Self or Essence to obtain Higher Guidance. This epistemological way of knowing is based on intuition, and heart-based esoteric traditions throughout the ages have known about it. However, to find solutions to the multiple problems we are facing today, many more people need to learn how to tap into their heart-mind. In this article, I explore and expand on these ideas from different angles, including the scientific.
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Si queremos comprender algunos de los requisitos para la salud mental, primero tenemos que saber a qué nos referimos con el término mental, que está relacionado con el término mente. Para esto, se recomienda explorar la naturaleza de la consciencia y, aunque esto a menudo, se lleva a cabo utilizando el enfoque de 'afuera hacia adentro', es solo a través del estudio de la naturaleza de nuestra consciencia desde la posición 'adentro hacia afuera' que podemos comenzar a comprender la naturaleza de la consciencia de otro. Se necesita usar nuestra voluntad y redirigir el cursor de nuestra mente superficial hacia los reinos internos, más profundos de nuestro ser. Este es un arte natural, pero para las personas que lo han olvidado, ciertos métodos de meditación somáticos, centrados en el corazón, pueden ayudar. Como los niveles más profundos, debajo de nuestra mente pensante, están vinculados con los sentimientos y las emociones, es importante aprender más sobre ellos, especialmente porque muchos trastornos de salud mental están vinculados con las emociones, incluida la violencia. Cuando la ira se ha convertido en parte de la personalidad en la sombra de una persona, esta puede estallar con muy poca provocación y hacer que la persona actúe de una manera violenta, que sea inapropiada para la situación. Las emociones en la sombra también pueden proyectarse sobre otros o incluso contra un colectivo de personas. Aprender sobre los niveles de consciencia y cómo "surfear" las diferentes sensaciones corporales durante la meditación, como una forma de sacar a la luz nuestras emociones inconscientes y restaurar la salud mental, merece más atención e investigación científica.
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Consciousness has scientists baffled, and the search to understand it has been described as the Holy Grail of science. However, the hypothesis that different levels of Consciousness, which can be encountered through phenomenological introspection, might be correlated with different layers of our anatomical development, which unfolds in gradational degrees, offers a new way of looking at our body, our mind, our nature, and Consciousness. Here Pure Consciousness is considered a non-physical intelligence that gives rise to life, expresses itself through all forms, prompts our anatomical development, and in humans, manifests itself through a by-product called 'mind' comprising of several levels. As we are part of this intelligence, we can explore the deeper levels of our consciousness using the cursor of our mind. The search for the deeper Self is consistent with the phenomenological perspective used by somatic heart-based meditation methods, as opposed to the modern Western phenomenological standpoint, which is the study of 'phenomena'. As our body unfolds in gradational degrees linked to layers, we suggest there might be a relationship between these layers and the levels of consciousness we can encounter in our search to know our deeper Self. These different aspects are addressed in this paper.
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If we want to understand some of the requisites for mental health, we first have to know what we mean by mental, which is related to the term mind. For this, we need to explore the topographical organization of consciousness from the 'inside-out' position. Only by doing this, can we begin to understand the nature of consciousness and the different levels of mind. The exploration of our inherent nature is a natural art where we use our will to direct the cursor awareness of our surface mind into the inner, deeper realms of their being. For people who have forgotten how to do this, certain somatic focusing heart-based methods of meditation may assist them. As the deeper levels of consciousness below our thinking mind, are linked with sensations, feelings, and emotions, it is important to learn more about them, especially as many mental health disorders are linked with emotions, including those related to violence. When an emotion such as anger has become part of our repressed shadow personality, it may erupt with very little provocation causing us to act in a violent way that is inappropriate to the situation. Shadow emotions can also be projected onto others, which may result in aggressive and violent acts against another or even a collective body of people. As such, learning about the different levels of consciousness, and how to bring our repressed emotions to the light by learning how to 'surf' the different bodily sensations that arise during meditation, warrant more scientific attention and investigation.
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For a new evolutionary step forward, this study suggests humans need to learn to live from the heart and not only the mind. Here I associate the mind with the Masculine Principle and thinking which with learning, develops into intellect. This is contrasted with intuition which I associate with the Female Principle and the deeper heart-mind. They are different epistemological ways of knowing which reflect different levels of consciousness of the Self where each way of knowing has a different origin, the surface mind and the deeper heart-mind. Each gender can tap into both ways of knowing but most mothers have easier access to intuitive knowing, especially when obtaining information about the wellbeing of their children and loved ones. Connecting with the deeper Self using heart-based meditation methods, leads to insights about the different levels of consciousness and awakens one’s intuitive abilities. Although intuition is attracting attention in different scientific fields, the connection between the deeper Self and intuition still needs to be recognized and explored by modern-day science. Different rea-sons why intuition linked to the female principle has been systemically depreciated for over two thousand years is also explored including questioning the origin on which the Western Intellectual Tradition is said to stand. To create a more caring, creative society, I propose that we need to resuscitate the female principle linked to intuition by reconnecting with our feeling heart-mind. Nevertheless, I advocate that we need both ways of knowing to unfold our full potential. This analysis has multiple implications which I address in the discussion.
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Introduction: This paper discusses using an mBraining approach in the management of stress, including building longer term resilience in order to avoid ongoing problems and recurrence of prior symptoms. By the provision of several case studies, we propose the effectiveness of this approach in practice and outline the opportunity to utilize mBIT alongside other existing and established therapeutic approaches. Objectives: This paper aims to discuss the perceived value of the mBIT (multiple Brain Integration Techniques) approach as a complementary technique in the applications of psychotherapy, counseling, coaching and overall personal optimization and development, with specific focus on reducing unwanted stress and building resilience over time. Methods: mBIT approach methodology and brief literature review. Results: The discussed case studies suggest a demonstrable value in introducing mBIT into the optimal management of stress and building of personal resilience. Conclusions: We advocate that mBIT can be successfully used as a complementary approach to reduce the day to day experience of stress and to change the way clients process stressors in the longer term. Keywords: neuroscience, coaching, multiple brain integration, embodied cognition, stress, resilience
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In this paper I adopt a multidisciplinary perspective and the main aim is to increase our understanding of consciousness and to give us an overall view of this multifaceted term. I distinguish between the outside-in and inside-out methodological approach to the study of consciousness and I qualify what I mean by these two terms. The outside-in approach, including the neuroscientific method involving the study and mapping of the brain and psychological approach, which is based on observations of patients in psychotherapy, leads to theories based mainly on our senses or extensions of them and inductive and deduction reasoning. The phenomenological inside-out approach where people study the nature of their own consciousness, involves going below or above the thinking mind guided by intuition. This gives rise to theories based on intuitive insight and experience. Among other things, how different cultures view consciousness is also considered and I point out that whatever metaphysical position we take regarding the origin of consciousness will have an effect on what we consider as ethically permissible conduct in scientific explorations and experiments.
Chapter
This chapter reviews the anatomy of cardiac sympathetic innervation, the effects of sympathoexcitation on ventricular electrophysiology and arrhythmogenesis, functional and structural remodeling of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in cardiomyopathy, and approaches to neuraxial modulation in patients with electrical storm. The tight relationship between cardiovascular function and its neural regulatory system is reflected by alterations in physical and functional properties of neurons (within the neuraxis) caused by cardiac pathology. The general approach taken to modulate the ANS for electrical storm (and other conditions) involves identifying a point or level that is important for cardiac neurotransmission. Therefore, these approaches rely heavily on neuroanatomy of the cardiovascular system. The interventions are typically reserved for recurrent arrhythmias despite use of standard therapies including beta‐blockers (a component of neuraxial modulation at the nerve‐myocyte interface) or calcium channel blockers, antiarrhythmic medications, and invasive catheter ablation procedures.
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Abstract The theory of the Six Main Levels of Consciousness of the philosopher Arka, is an analysis of the main levels a practitioner will go through when he or she undertakes the inner journey of Self-discovery using a heart-based meditation method such as the Intuitive Meditation (IM) method. It opens science to a new way of understanding and researching consciousness for it permits phenomenological experiences associated with the different levels, to be researched using different methods including the scientific method. As it addresses the experiencing aspect of consciousness, it cuts through the dilemma posed by Chalmers, which he terms the "hard problem of consciousness". In addition, by recognizing the thinking Mind (often associated with the brain) as the first level, it helps incorporate the work already undertaken by many scientists. The levels mentioned by Arka are: 1) M (Mind) – Consciousness, 2) SM (Subliminal-Mind) – Consciousness, 3) F (Feeling-Mind) – Consciousness, 4) H (Emotional-Heart) – Consciousness, 5) HS (Heart-Soul) – Consciousness and 6) PS (Pure-Self) – Consciousness. In a recent study using a repeated measures design, it was found that participants showed a significant shift towards a more feeling-based consciousness after learning the Intuitive Meditation Method and practicing it a minimum of five times over a 6-week period as measured by the same Feeling Consciousness Scale. This gives support to the third Feeling Mind level of consciousness Arka mentions in his theory. As the role of the heart is said to play a key role in this theory, in this article we present information regarding the heart, embryonic development and pulsation to understand more about the relevance of the heart and why it has been used as a center of attention in meditation practices throughout the ages. Embryogenesis also poses interesting but difficult questions, which, as yet, Western Science has not addressed. It also stimulates the enquiry into the nature of "consciousness" and the fundamental question: Who are we? Keywords Levels of Consciousness, Self-discovery, Intuitive Meditation, Phenomenology, Experiencing Consciousness, Feeling-mind Consciousness, Embryogenesis, Pulsation
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The origins of coronary artery afferents coursing in sympathetic nerves was determined using retrograde axonal transport methods. Cells labeled with horseradish peroxidase were found bilaterally in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) C8 to T6 were smaller in size than non-labeled DRG neurons. The findings indicate a more extensive segmental distribution of cardiac afferents than was previously believed to exist.
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The locations of sympathetic postganglionic and parasympathetic preganglionic neurons projecting to the heart have not yet been clearly established. Therefore, aliquots of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) were injected into specific regions of the heart, intraventricular cavity, pericardial sac, aortic arch, and the skin in 27 dogs. Following injections into the heart, aorta, or pericardial sac, retrogradely labeled neurons were present in the greatest numbers in the middle cervical ganglia bilaterally. Labeled neurons were located in the cranial poles of the stellate ganglia bilaterally and occasionally in the superior cervical ganglia. Labeled cells were also found in small ganglia located along cardiopulmonary nerves. Injections of HRP into specific areas of the heart did not result in labeling of cells in specific loci of the thoracic or cervical sympathetic ganglia. When the ansae were cut on one side, no labeled cells were found in the ipsilateral stellate ganglion or upper thoracic chain. Following injections into the skin of the left elbow or left cranial nipple, labeled cells were found in the stellate ganglia and the sympathetic chain and in one case in the middle cervical ganglion as well. These data suggest that postganglionic sympathetic neurons which project efferent axons to a specific cardiac region are not located in a specific region of a sympathetic ganglion or a specific sympathetic ganglion. Rather, neurons in one region of a sympathetic ganglion project axons to widespread areas of the myocardium. Sympathetic postganglionic neurons in the stellate ganglion or sympathetic chain project their axons to the heart via the subclavian ansae or interganglionic nerves, not via nerves arising directly from the sympathetic chain.Small numbers of labeled neurons were found in the medulla oblongata, thus indicating that in comparison to sympathetic postganglionic neurons relatively few preganglionic parasympathetic neurons project directly to the heart. When labeled cells were present in the medulla, the majority were located in the ventrolateral nucleus ambiguus.
Article
In each of 10 mongrel dogs anesthetized with alpha chloralose, strain-gauge arches were sutured to five epicardial and three endocardial locations. Comparisons of contractile force responses during stimulation of the left and right roots of the same segmental level revealed several differences dependent upon the particular myocardial area observed. Of the three left ventricular endocardial areas studied, the interventricular septum was the most responsive, particularly during stimulation of the right roots. The basal free wall and posterior papillary muscle were more responsive to left-root than to right-root stimulations. Epicardial responses were consistent with those previously reported. Generally, all areas responded to the greatest degree during stimulation of the second roots with the third and first next in order of effectiveness. Although stimulation of each level of preganglionic outflow activated all epicardial and endocardial segments of the myocardium, the magnitude of the changes in contractile force were highly variable dependent upon the specific level of preganglionic outflow and the location of the strain-gauge arch.
Article
1. Electrophysiological techniques have been used to locate the origin of preganglionic vagal motoneurones supplying the heart of the cat. 2. The right cardiac vagal branches were identified anatomically and their ability to slow the heart was assessed by electrical stimulation. Control experiments revealed that contamination of cardiac branches by bronchomotor and oesophageal efferent fibres was likely to be small. 3. Fifty-seven neurones in the medulla were activated antidromically on stimulating the cardiac branches at up to 5 times the threshold for cardiac slowing. They had axons with conduction velocities between 3 and 15 m/sec, corresponding to B fibres. 4. None of these were located in the region of the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus, in spite of repeated sampling there, but all were located in the region of the nucleus ambigus. Histological examination of marked neurones (forty-six of the fifty-seven neurones) revealed that they were associated with its principal column, rostral to the obex. 5. Sampling motoneurones of the dorsal motor nucleus revealed that most sent axons down the thoracic vagus below the cardiac branches. Only three of thirty-three could be activated antidromically by high intensity stimulation of the cardiac branches, but on the basis of their thresholds and conduction velocities, it is argued that they were unlikely to be cardio-inhibitory neurones. 6. It is concluded that preganglionic cardio-inhibitory neurones arise not in the dorsal motor nucleus, but in the principal column of the nucleus ambiguus.
Article
Neuropeptide-like immunoreactivity to antisera raised against Leu- and Met-enkephalin, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), neuropeptide Y (NPY) and substance P (SP) have been studied immunohistochemically in middle cervical and stellate ganglia of dogs. To investigate the relationship of the peptides to one another as well as to preganglionic and postganglionic neurons, intact and chronically decentralized middle cervical and stellate ganglia were studied. Ganglia were processed for immunohistochemistry in unoperated dogs and in dogs two weeks after unilateral ganglionic decentralization. The immunoreactivity for each peptide had a characteristic distribution in the ganglia. These distributions differed from one another and from the distribution of cardiac postganglionic sympathetic neurons. Camera lucida drawings of peptide distributions were made to compare different peptides and counts were made to determine the percentages of cells immunoreactive for a given peptide. The results demonstrated that enkephalin-like immunoreactivity in axons was present in both the stellate and middle cervical ganglia, but was heaviest in the caudal 2/3 of the stellate ganglia. Enkephalin-like immunoreactive fibers formed pericellular baskets around stellate ganglion neurons. VIP-like immunoreactive cell bodies and processes were distributed sparsely, but widely, in the stellate ganglia and to a lesser extent in the middle cervical ganglia. One of two commercial antisera to SP resulted in immunoreactive staining of cell bodies and processes in the stellate ganglia. SP-like immunoreactivity in neurons represented about 10% or less of the cells in the stellate ganglia. At least 80-85% of the neurons in the stellate and middle cervical ganglia were immunoreactive for NPY antisera. Decentralization eliminated enkephalin-like immunoreactive staining in the middle cervical and stellate ganglia, but not the VIP-, NPY- and SP-like immunoreactive staining of neurons in these ganglia. In summary, the enkephalin-like immunoreactive axons in the thoracic autonomic ganglia appear to be derived from extrinsic neurons, most likely from preganglionic spinal neurons. VIP-, SP- and NPY-like immunoreactivity were not significantly affected by decentralization. The results provide anatomical evidence for substrates related to neuropeptidergic synaptic mechanisms in thoracic autonomic ganglia.
Article
The aim was to investigate whether intrinsic cardiac neurones can be involved in the genesis of ventricular arrhythmias. Nicotinic, muscarinic, beta adrenergic, peptidergic, and amino acidergic agonists, as well as purinergic compounds, were individually administered in microliter quantities adjacent to spontaneously active in situ right atrial neurones in 57 anaesthetised dogs before and after acute decentralisation. Ventricular arrhythmias were induced in one third of the dogs following neurochemical administration. Ventricular arrhythmias are induced much less frequently when intrathoracic extracardiac neurones are modified chemically. Salvos of ventricular premature contractions or ventricular tachycardias were elicited when intrinsic cardiac neurones were modified locally applied nicotine, bethanechol, isoprenaline, angiotensin II, bradykinin, substance P, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, glutamate, or adenosine. In 60% of those instances in which intrinsic cardiac neuronal activity was modified by a neurochemical, ventricular arrhythmias were elicited. When arrhythmias were induced, activity generated by chemically modified intrinsic cardiac neurones increased from 0.7(SD 0.2) to 2.2(0.4) impulses.s-1 (p < 0.05). Following decentralisation of the intrinsic cardiac nervous system, repeat administration of the same neurochemicals into the same loci elicited ventricular arrhythmias in 42% of those dogs in which ventricular arrhythmias had been elicited previously. Neuronal activity increased [0.8(0.5) to 2.1(0.6) impulses.s-1; p < 0.05] in 86% of these instances. Intrinsic cardiac neurones can be involved in the genesis of ventricular arrhythmias.
Article
We have used confocal microscopy to analyze the vagal afferent innervation of the rat heart. Afferents were labeled by injecting 1,1'-dioleyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine methanesulfonate (DiI) into the nodose ganglia of animals with prior supranodose de-efferentations, autonomic ganglia were stained with Fluoro-gold, and tissues were examined in whole mounts. Distinctively different fiber specializations were observed in the epi-, myo-, and endocardium: Afferents to the epicardium formed complexes associated with cardiac ganglia. These ganglia consisted of four major ganglionated plexuses, two on each atrium, at junctions of the major vessels with the atria. Ganglionic locations and sizes (left > right) were consistent across animals. In addition to principal neurons (PNs), significant numbers of small intensely fluorescent (SIF) cells were located in each of these plexuses, and vagal afferents provided dense pericellular varicose endings around the SIF cells in each ganglionic plexus, with few if any terminations on PNs. In the myocardium, vagal afferents formed close contacts with cardiac muscles, including conduction fibers. In the endocardium, vagal fibers formed "flower-spray" and "end-net" terminals in connective tissue. With three-dimensional reconstruction of confocal optical sections, a novel polymorphism was seen: Some fibers had one or more collaterals ending as endocardial flower sprays and other collaterals ending as myocardial intramuscular endings. Some unipolar or pseudounipolar neurons within each cardiac ganglionic plexus were retrogradely labeled from the nodose ganglia. In conclusion, vagal afferents form a heterogeneity of differentiated endings in the heart, including structured elements which may mediate chemoreceptor function, stretch reception, and local cardiac reflexes.
Article
Cardiac ganglia were originally thought to contain only cholinergic neurons relaying parasympathetic information from preganglionic brain stem neurons to the heart. Accumulating evidence, however, suggests that cardiac ganglia contain a heterogeneous population of neurons that synthesize or respond to several different neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. Reports regarding monoamine and histamine synthesis and neurotransmission within cardiac ganglia, however, present conflicting information or are limited in number. Furthermore, very few studies have examined the neurochemistry of adult human cardiac ganglia. The purpose of this study was, therefore, to determine whether monoamine- and histamine-synthesizing enzymes and neurotransmitters exist within neurons of adult human cardiac ganglia. Human heart tissue containing cardiac ganglia was obtained during autopsies of patients without cardiovascular pathology. Avidin-biotin complex immunohistochemistry was used to demonstrate tyrosine hydroxylase, L-dopa decarboxylase, dopamine beta-hydroxylase, phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase, tryptophan hydroxylase, and histidine decarboxylase immunoreactivity within neurons of cardiac ganglia. Dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and histamine immunoreactivity was also found in ganglionic neurons. Omission or preadsorption of primary antibodies from the antisera and subsequent incubation with cardiac ganglia abolished specific staining in all cases examined. Our results suggest that neurons within cardiac ganglia contain enzymes involved in the synthesis of monoamines and histamine and that they contain dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and histamine immunoreactivity. Our findings suggest a putative role for monoamine and histamine neurotransmission within adult human cardiac ganglia. Additional, functional evidence will be necessary to evaluate what the physiological role of monoamines and histamine may be in neural control of the adult human heart.
Article
Functional data indicate that neurons in distinct regions of the heart exert preferential regional cardiac control. To date the regional distribution of specific types of neurons within the intrinsic cardiac nervous system remains unknown, as does their associations with distinct neurotransmitter and/or neuromodulatory profiles. This study was designed to ascertain: (1) the distribution of different classes of neurons within the intrinsic cardiac nervous system as determined by microscopic analysis; (2) the neurochemical profiles of neurons in differing atrial loci; (3) which neurochemicals are co-localized within specific populations of intrinsic cardiac neurons; and (4) the distribution of specific sub-populations of neurons expressing specific immunoreactivities. Taking advantage of confocal laser scanning microscopy and distinct immunoreactive fluorescent markers in various double-label combinations, several sub-populations of intrinsic cardiac neurons were identified. Of all identified neurons, 85-90% were located in ganglia (ganglionic neurons), the rest being isolated (individual neurons). The two general neuronal markers protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5) and microtubule-associated protein (MAP-2) were associated with neurons clustered primarily in the interatrial septum and around the origins of the two vena cavae. Ganglia (group 1) contained three sub-populations of neurons: approx. 80% of ganglionic neurons were large (15-40 microm diameters; group 1a) and approx. 20% had smaller diameters (less than 15 microm; group 1b). All of these neurons were PGP-immunoreactive, exhibiting choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) immunoreactivity (IR), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) IR, neuropeptide Y (NPY) IR, vasoactive peptide (VIP) IR and substance P (SP) IR. The remaining 5% of ganglionic neurons were small (group 1c; less than 20 microm). These displayed TH immunoreactivity but not MAP, PGP, CHAT, NPY or SP immunoreactivity. Ten to fifteen percent of all neurons loosely distributed outside of ganglia were small (10-25 microm) and located primarily around the origin of the superior vena cava. They displayed immunoreactivity to TH, ChAT, VIP, NPY and SP, but not to MAP-2 or PGP 9.5. These data provide anatomical and immunohistochemical evidence for specific localization of differing populations of intrinsic cardiac neurons with respect to their size, ganglionic distributions and capacity to express multiple neurotransmitters. Although the functional importance of such a regional distribution of differing populations of intrinsic cardiac neurons remains unknown, these anatomical data support the thesis that unique clustering of specific populations of neurons within this nervous system represents the anatomical substrate for complex local cardiac regulatory phenomena occurring at the level of the target organ.
Article
We sought to determine the sites of origin of atrial tachyarrhythmias induced by activating mediastinal nerves, as well as the response of such arrhythmias to autonomic modulation. Under general anaesthesia, atrioventricular block was induced after thoracotomy in 19 canines. Brief trains of 5 electrical stimuli were delivered to right-sided mediastinal nerves during the atrial refractory period. Unipolar electrograms were recorded from 191 right and left atrial epicardial sites under several conditions, i.e. (i) with intact nervous systems and following (ii) acute decentralization of the intrathoracic nervous system or administration of (iii) atropine, (iv) timolol, (v) hexamethonium. Concomitant right atrial endocardial mapping was performed in 7 of these dogs. Mediastinal nerve stimulation consistently initiated bradycardia followed by atrial tachyarrhythmias. In the initial tachyarrhythmia beats, early epicardial breakthroughs were identified in the right atrial free wall (28/50 episodes) or Bachmann bundle region (22/50), which corresponded to endocardial sites of origin associated with the right atrial subsidiary pacemaker complex, i.e. the crista terminalis and dorsal locations including the right atrial aspect of the interatrial septum. Neuronally induced responses were eliminated by atropine, modified by timolol and unaffected by acute neuronal decentralization. After hexamethonium, responses to extra-pericardial but not intra-pericardial nerve stimulation were eliminated. It is concluded that concomitant activation of cholinergic and adrenergic efferent intrinsic cardiac neurons induced by right-sided efferent neuronal stimulation initiates atrial tachyarrhythmias that originate from foci anatomically related to the right atrial pacemaker complex and tissues underlying major atrial ganglionated plexuses.
Article
Intracardiac pathways mediating the parasympathetic control of various cardiac functions are incompletely understood. Several intracardiac ganglia have been demonstrated to potently influence cardiac rate [the sinoatrial (SA) ganglion], atrioventricular (AV) conduction (the AV ganglion), or left ventricular contractility (the cranioventricular ganglion). However, there are numerous ganglia found throughout the heart whose functions are poorly characterized. One such ganglion, the posterior atrial (PA) ganglion, is found in a fat pad on the rostral dorsal surface of the right atrium. We have investigated the potential impact of this ganglion on cardiac rate and AV conduction. We report that microinjections of a ganglionic blocker into the PA ganglion significantly attenuates the negative chronotropic effects of vagal stimulation without significantly influencing negative dromotropic effects. Because prior evidence indicates that the PA ganglion does not project to the SA node, we neuroanatomically tested the hypothesis that the PA ganglion mediates its effect on cardiac rate through an interganglionic projection to the SA ganglion. Subsequent to microinjections of the retrograde tracer fast blue into the SA ganglion, >70% of the retrogradely labeled neurons found within five intracardiac ganglia throughout the heart were observed in the PA ganglion. The neuroanatomic data further indicate that intraganglionic neuronal circuits are found within the SA ganglion. The present data support the hypothesis that two interacting cardiac centers, i.e., the SA and PA ganglia, mediate the peripheral parasympathetic control of cardiac rate. These data further support the emerging concept of an intrinsic cardiac nervous system.
From cardioaccelerator and inhibitory nerves to a heart brain: an evolution of concepts In: Shepherd JT, Vatner SF, eds. Nervous Control of the Heart Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers Hôpital du Sacre-Coeur de Montréal
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