In addition to the many ways music activates the brain, neurological studies show that happy tunes, with a fast tempo and often written in a major key, make us breathe faster. Sad songs, with a slow tempo and written in a minor key, slow the pulse.
Cyril G. Hardy, MD
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- How do our bodies react to music?
What is the enteric nervous system?
Bill Salt, MD, Gastroenterology, answered
Dr. Jack Wood, a physiologist at The Ohio State University, has dubbed the enteric nervous system the “little brain in the gut.” Given its roots, it is an apt description. The enteric nervous system is derived from the same part of a growing embryo as the brain. It has more neurons than the brain and has all of the brain’s neurotransmitters, including serotonin. Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitter keys often implicated in depression. Remarkably, ninety-five percent of the serotonin in your body is located in the gut. Only five percent is found in the brain. The common embryologic origin of both the mind/brain and the gut brain is a clue to why the digestive system is the source of symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Furthermore, the term “gut feeling” reflects accurately the fact that the little brain in the gut has something to do with intuition, instinct, and decision-making.
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How does our internal electrical system work?
When we squeeze a door knob, or switch on a light, we are able to do so because our nervous system has sent signals to the brain.
When we talk about our brains telling our hands to squeeze the door knob, or about the nervous system sending "signals" to the brain, or about synapses "firing," we're really talking about electricity carrying messages between point A and point B.
It is somewhat like the digital cable signal, carrying the 1s and 0s, that delivers the program "Damages."
In our bodies, though, the electrons do not flow along a wire. Instead, an electrical charge jumps from cell to cell, until it reaches where it needs to go.
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