The Heart as the Center of Consciousness. ~ Fahad Basheer

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During organ transplantation there have been numerous reports of emotions, memories and experiences being transferred along with the organ which is been transplanted from the donor to the recipient.

Dr. Pearsall, an American cardiologist, has collected the cases of 73 heart transplant patients and 67 other organ transplant recipients and published them in his book, “The Hearts Code” (1). Here is a sample of a case that has been reported.

Claire Sylvia develops desire for chicken nuggets and green peppers.

On May 29, 1988, an American woman named Claire Sylvia received a heart transplant at a hospital in Yale, Connecticut. She was told that her donor was an 18 year-old male from Maine who had just died in a motorcycle accident.

Soon after her operation, Sylvia declared that she felt like drinking beer, something she hadn’t particularly been fond of before. Later, she observed an uncontrollable urge to eat chicken nuggets and found herself drawn to visiting the popular chicken restaurant chain, KFC.

She also began craving green peppers which she hadn’t particularly liked before. She started behaving in an aggressive and impetuous manner following the surgery. Sylvia also began having recurring dreams about a mystery man named Tim, whom she felt was the organ donor.

She searched for obituaries in newspapers published from Maine and was able to identify the young man whose heart she had received. His name had indeed been Tim. After visiting Tim’s family, she discovered that he used to love chicken nuggets, green peppers and beer. These experiences are documented in her book, A Change of Heart (2).

In 1974, the French researchers Gahery and Vigier, working with cats, stimulated the vagus nerve (which carries many of the signals from the heart to the brain) and found that the brain’s electrical response was reduced to about half its normal rate when stimulating the vagus nerve (3).

The heart appeared to be sending meaningful messages to the brain that it not only understood, but also obeyed (4). Later, neurophysiologists discovered a neural pathway and mechanism whereby input from the heart to the brain could inhibit or facilitate the brain’s electrical activity (5).

Dr. Armour introduced the idea of functional “heart brain.” His research revealed that the heart has a complex intrinsic nervous system that is sufficiently refined to qualify as a “little brain” in its own right, due to its independent existence.

The heart’s nervous system contains around 40,000 neurons, called sensory neurites. The heart’s brain is an intricate network of several types of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins and support cells similar to those found in the brain proper. Its elaborate circuitry enables it to act independently of the cranial brain to learn, remember, and even feel and sense (6).

Information from the heart, including feeling sensations, is sent to the brain through several afferents. These afferent nerve pathways enter the brain at the area of the medulla, and cascade up into the higher centers of the brain, where they may influence perception, decision making and other cognitive processes (7).

When heart rhythm patterns are coherent the neural information sent to the brain facilitates cortical function. This effect is often experienced as heightened mental clarity, improved decision making and increased creativity. Additionally, coherent input from the heart tends to facilitate the experience of positive feeling states (8).

States of increased heart rhythm coherence are associated with improvements in cognitive performance (9). The brain’s alpha wave activity is synchronized to the cardiac cycle. During states of high heart rhythm coherence, alpha wave synchronization to the heart’s activity significantly increases (10).

The heart’s afferent neurological signals directly affect activity in the amygdala and associated nuclei, an important emotional processing center in the brain. The amygdala is the key brain center that coordinates behavioral, immunological, and neuroendocrine responses to environmental threats. It compares incoming emotional signals with stored emotional memories, and accordingly makes instantaneous decisions about the level of perceived threat.

Due to its extensive connections to the limbic system, it is able to take over the neural pathways, activating the autonomic nervous system and emotional response before the higher brain centers receive the sensory information (11).

The heart communicates information to the brain and throughout the body via electromagnetic field interactions. The heart generates the body’s most powerful and most extensive rhythmic electromagnetic field. The heart’s magnetic component is about 500 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away from the body.

It was proposed that, this heart field acts as a carrier wave for information that provides a global synchronizing signal for the entire body (12). There is now evidence that an influential electromagnetic communication system operates just below our conscious awareness. Energetic interactions possibly contribute to the magnetic attractions or repulsions that occur between individuals, and also affect social relationships.

It was also found that one person’s brain waves can synchronize to another person’s heart (13). When people touch or are in proximity one person’s heartbeat signal is registered in the other person’s brainwaves (14). When two people are at a conversational distance, the electromagnetic signal generated by one person’s heart can influence the other person’s brain rhythms.

When an individual is generating a coherent heart rhythm, synchronization between that individual’s brainwaves and another person’s heart-beat is more likely to occur (15).

Individuals capable of generating high ratios of heart coherence were able to alter DNA conformation according to their intention. Intending to denature (un-wind) or renature (wind) the DNA had corresponding effects on the UV spectra (16). As people learn to sustain heart-focused positive feeling states, the brain can be brought into entrainment with the heart (17). The conclusion is the need of pointing to the heart as the center of consciousness.


(1) Pearsall, Paul. The Heart’s Code: Tapping the wisdom and power of our heart energy. New York; Broadway Books. (1999)
(2) Sylvia, Claire. A Change of heart:  a memoir. New York; Warner Books. (1997)
(3) Rollin McCraty MD, The science of Heart page 4. (2001)
(4) Lacey J I and Lacey B C, Two-way communication between the heart and the brain: Significance of time within the cardiac cycle. American Psychologist, February: 99-113. (1978)
(5) McCraty R, Influence of Cardiac Afferent Input on Heart-Brain Synchronization and Cognitive Performance. International Journal of Psychophysiology; 45(1-2):72-73. (2002)
(6) Armour J A, Anatomy and function of the intrathoracic neurons regulating the mammalian heart. In: Zucker I H and Gilmore J P, eds. Reflex Control of the Circulation. Boca Raton, FL, CRC Press: 1-3. (1991)
(7) Armour J. A. Cardiac neuronal hierarchy in health and disease, American journal of physiology, regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology. Aug; 287(2):R262-71. (2004)
(8) Tiller W, McCraty R, et al, Cardiac coherence; A new non-invasive measure of autonomic system order. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine; 2(1): 52-65. (1996)
(9) Rollin McCraty, PhD and Mike Atkinson. In: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Pavlovian Society, Tarrytown, NY. (1999)
(10) Influence of afferent cardiovascular input on cognitive performance and alpha activity [Abst.]. Rollin McCraty, PhD and Mike Atkinson. In: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Pavlovian Society, Tarrytown, NY. (1999)
(11) Rein G, McCraty R and Atkinson M, the Physiological and Psychological Effects of Compassion and Anger, Journal of Advancement in Medicine; 8(2):87-105. (1995)
(12) McCraty R, Bradley RT, Tomasino D, the Resonant Heart, Shift: At the Frontiers of Consciousness; 5:15-19. (2004)
(13) McCraty R, The Energetic Heart: Bioelectromagnetic Communication Within and Between People, Chapter published in: Clinical Applications of Bioelectromagnetic Medicine, edited by Rosch P J and Markov M S. New York: Marcel Dekker: 541-562. (2004)
(14) Rollin McCraty, MA, Mike Atkinson, Dana Tomasino, BA and William A. Tiller, PhD. In: Proceedings of the Fifth Appalachian Conference on Neurobehavioral Dynamics: Brain and Values. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. (1997)
(15) Rollin McCraty, PhD, Mike Atkinson and William A. Tiller, PhD. In: Proceedings of the Tenth International Montreux Congress on Stress, Montreux, Switzerland. (1999)
(16) Rollin McCraty, Ph.D. Mike Atkinson, and Dana Tomasino, B.A. modulation of DNA conformation by heart focused intention, Institute of heartmath. (2003)
(17) Rollin McCraty, PhD, William A. Tiller, PhD and Mike Atkinson. In: Proceedings of the Brain-Mind Applied Neurophysiology EEG Neurofeedback Meeting. Key West, Florida. (1996)

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About Fahad Basheer

Fahad Basheer is a highly influential independent researcher of consciousness, mind body continuum system and its applications in medicine. He is now doing his final year MBBS in KMCT Medical college Calicut in India. His research works encompasses subjects including epigenetics, psychoneuroimmunology, organ transplantation, psychology, consciousness and quantum physics.


30 Responses to “The Heart as the Center of Consciousness. ~ Fahad Basheer”

  1. Neil says:

    I enjoyed this article very much. I have one question. Can the vagus nerve act as a two way street by not only transporting messages from heart to brain but also from brain to heart?

  2. Alexander Dunlop says:

    Thank you for this article. I am wondering what is meant by the term "coherence." And how does one achieve greater coherence as you define it in your article.

    • brown says:

      Coherence is attained when a person reaches a higher levels of life

    • Yusof says:

      Normally,the brain functions at the beta level 14-21cps.

      The mind is a field of activity sustained by dualistic interactions.

      Through the practice of introspection (just sitting and
      witnessing),interactions can be reduced progressively.

      When interactions are reduced,the brain activity drops to alpha level 7- 14 cps.

      With regular practice,the activity can be further reduced to theta level 4-7 cps.

      When complete cessation of interactions happens,the mind is transcended.

      The brain activity reaches a state of quiescence.
      At this level,the components of the brain namely reptilian,
      mammalian and the neocortex function coherently and is capable of generating insights creatively.

  3. R L says:

    Heart transplant recipient…almost 19 years now. After transplant craved foods that I didn't eat before (chicken and salsa). Every evening around 6 pm my heart rate would increase as if I were doing something very strenuous…was told by transplant team that my donor was a physical fitness instructor (martial arts)…apparently she was active at that time (memory cell occurrence?). Also experienced reoccurring dreams of donor and her family, including the vehicle accident causing my donor's death…I would wake up on impact with severe headaches. All of these things went away after a few years….strange to have experienced them but at the same time felt very natural!

  4. jassim says:

    Amazing ….. the base of the materialistic science is collapsing….. yes.. this need to be studied in depth..I appreciate your aticle fahad

  5. mifah says:

    This is beyond theory.. I say its totally an existing phenomena and a highly scientific revelation of hearts power…it makes my skin shivers

  6. Michael says:

    Its an unique concept. I want to know more how the heart electromagnetic inflence the people around..

  7. mahfoom says:


  8. surya says:

    I too want to transplant my heart…..

  9. daniel says:

    can every people get that coherence

  10. rharis says:

    where exactly are these stored in heart?

  11. fawzan says:

    A 1000 Kisses to the heart

  12. daniel says:

    heart brain!!! that's kool

  13. kalam says:

    heart is the king of the body

  14. FASMAN says:


  15. shinto says:

    Bless us with a heart that loves

  16. Yusof says:

    The mind provides
    self-consciousness which may be localised at the physical heart.

    The mind is a field existing by virtue of dualistic interactions.

    Through cessation of interactions,
    it may be possible to go beyond the temporal realm of the mind.

    The practice of "just sitting and witnessing"facilitates cessation of interactions.

    When cessation of interactions for a brief moment happens,it is realised that the mind is

    In the absence of the mind,
    consciousness expands to infinity.

    Consciousness is not localised but is omnipresent.

  17. Rhona says:

    These postulates help to explain the experience of my ultimate meditations : my heart was "singing" "in sync" "coherent", which resulted in a knowledge that my body ( read : DNA ) was being healed of illness. The ravages of time and environment on my physical being were being reversed…. i KNEW. I have wondered since what that energy was which flowed through my heart during meditation… Your research goes some way to explaining how heart/brain work. Please continue with your work!

  18. zakir says:

    When I feel emotional I feel heaviness in my chest not in head , so always had a feeling that brain is just a connection between consciousness and materialist world but heart may the seat of our soul or the true me

  19. astrodreamer says:

    In fact, one of France's leading philosophers and public intellectuals, Jean-Luc Nancy, underwent a heart transplant and has written extensively about how the experience affected his understanding of the Self. Interestingly, his Sun is in Leo, sign of the heart, exactly conjunct Pluto, planet of radical death/rebirth.

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