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What is the relationship between the brain and the mind?

William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
The brain is the central processing unit of the body and plays a key role in translating the content of the mind (your thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, memories and imagination) into complex patterns of nerve cell firing and chemical release. These complex patterns of nerve cell firing and chemical release are called neurosignatures, and they intimately affect the physiology and biochemistry of the body.

The relationship between the brain and the mind is complex. The human brain is a three-pound, cantaloupe-sized organ whose external surface has many folded and convoluted contours. These folds and convolutions increase the surface area of the brain, vastly increasing the number of possible connections between brain cells, and thereby increasing the computing power of the brain. Examined under a microscope, each of the brain's 100 billion cells makes approximately 1000 connections -- called synapses -- with other brain cells. These synapses weave an intricate tapestry of living brain cell fibers, creating the rich and complex communications network called the brain.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the MindBodySpirit Connection: 7 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functional Bowel Disorder, Crohn's Disease, or Colitis (Mind-Body-Spirit Connection Series.)

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome & the MindBodySpirit Connection: 7 Steps for Living a Healthy Life with a Functional Bowel Disorder, Crohn's Disease, or Colitis (Mind-Body-Spirit Connection Series.)

Fast Facts on IBS: One in five people suffers from the frustrating symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). There is no simple answer--no pill, potion, or quick fix--that will cure IBS. But help...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.