What Are The Three Brains?
This might be surprising but the brain in your head is not the only brain in your body. Neuroscience has shown that your heart and gut are also classed as “brains”.
3 years ago research was published which shows that these three brains have complex networks and have their own individual functions. Each Brain have their own dedicated nervous systems complete with billions of neurons which gives them ability to grow, flex and react. Also they have the powerful capabilities to receive, process, store information and access it again when necessary.
The following sections will give more details about each of individual brain because to understand how they work together, you to understand how each brain functions.
The Head Brain – The common brain that you will know that is in your head and there are an astonishing 86 billion neurons found in your head brain which are the cells that process and transmit information. You will find that your head brain is known as the cephalic brain and it focuses on cognition and perception as well as gives you the ability the learn language and to communicate. Furthermore the neurons are where synapses, electrical impulses and hormones talk to each other, which gives you capabilities to identify objects, patterns as well as make sense of the world. In other words the head brain is where your creativity and conscious thoughts come from.
The Heart Brain – You have more than likely heard the phrase “listen to your heart” and even made decision once in your life because you listened to your heart. Therefore your heart being classed as a brain should not be really surprising as it is one of your body’s essential organs as well. Your heart brain also known as the cardiac brain has approximately 40,000 neurons which does not come close to the amount your head brain has but at the same time does not make it any less important.
The heart brain is the emotion brain because it connects to what you value in life and how you feel, in other words it gives you the ability to sense the world through emotion and feelings. Furthermore your heart brain communicates with the head brain through electrical signals and chemicals.
The Gut Brain – The third brain is the gut brain also known as the enteric brain and this brain has 100 million neurons which are found in two nerve centres called the myenteric and the submucosal. The gut brain helps you with understanding your identity and who we are in the world.
Also the gut brain gives us the ability to learn self-preservation by following our “gut feeling” that we experience at times in our life. Furthermore research has found that almost 95% of your body’s serotonin which is referred to as the happy hormone is found in your gut and therefore supports that the gut plays an important role in our emotions.
How Do The Three Brains Communicate?
Like your other internal organs, your heart, head, and gut brain all communicate through the Vagus nerve which is one of the longest nerves found in the body as it starts from your head and goes down into your abdomen. The primary function of the Vagus nerve is to be a communication centre for all your internal organs.
Interestingly a research study’s results found that information communicated in the body flows up the Vagus nerve and this is how your heart and gut brains provide information to head brain. Therefore supporting that your general thought process and perception is influenced by the three brains.
Thank you for reading, we hope you feel more informed about the three brains and if you are interested in learning more, then please read our other blog about the gut-brain connection which give a brief overview on how the gut and the head brain are connected.