Of Hearts and Minds

49 minutes 8.7/10 based on 19 votes

The heart is the most symbolic organ of the human body. It’s not only a physical organ, but also one of the biggest emotional symbols known. This documentary reveals what the latest science has learned about its structures, its capacities, and its role. Join David Malone as he finds out whether our feelings and emotions really come from our hearts or from our brains.

The heart is a powerful symbol for religion, literature and philosophy for most cultures. Draw a heart, and immediately you evoke feelings of love, appreciation, and friendship. Traditionally it has been known as the site of our emotions and the center of our being. But modern science sees the heart as just a pump and nothing more. In fact heart surgeons describe the heart as “a bunch of muscles that has nerves and chemical receptors”. This simple physical description is quite accurate. But still, there’s got to be something about the heart that makes it so special.

We talk about being brokenhearted, or having a happy heart. Sometimes we feel our heart is full and at other times it feels empty. We say we love with all our hearts, we say somebody’s heart is cold. What does this mean? Isn’t it undeniable proof that there is a connection between the heart and the mind?

Professor David Paterson from The University of Oxford  has been doing extensive research that challenges the traditional textbook view of how the heart and brain work together. One of the most shocking discoveries is that the heart has millions of specialized neurons just like those that can be found in the brain. Neurons are the cells that give us the ability to think, so what does their presence in the heart mean? Why are they there? What is the role played by these neurons?

Maybe there really is more to the heart than we think we know. Watch this documentary to find out.

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Discuss This Documentary

  • BiznatchRuler

    This is garbage. This can all be explained if you just five the mind the credit it deserves. when you try to lie you mind is not telling you to calm down it makes you nervous which makes your heart beat quickly as you fear being found out. So dumb and terrible ability to provide ANY empirical evidence.

  • BiznatchRuler

    Also, yes the heart is important but to say that it is more important to the human condition is fallacious as you wouldn’t even be able to ponder any of this without your brain.

  • BiznatchRuler

    This feels like more fake truth movement Illuminati funded propaganda.

  • BiznatchRuler

    Gawd and yes the heart is a COMPLEX pump get over it.

  • LJ

    the heart is more then what you think and you have to practis what you feel or it will be gone

  • Blah Blah

    Lovely documentary. Really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing it.

  • PseudoSurfer

    This “factual” documentary (disappointing that this was classed as a “science program” on the bbc) should have been 5 minutes long. The opening interview with the cardiologist, post-surgery, was all you need to know. The heart is simply a pump, but it is a complicated one. The nonsense about how the blood flows through the heart was incredibly irritating, since that is the effect of evolution, nothing more, nothing less. (think the anthropic principle, but in biological terms ie. if the flow was not as complex as it is then the heart would not work and we would not be here to ponder how “magic” it all seems to be). That someone who claims to be a philosopher would miss this point says all you need to know really.

    • Bramski

      I think people may be missing the subtlety of the message here. The maker isn’t trying to propose that the heart is some sort of competition for the brain in terms of governing emotions, but that, on a neurological level, it has some kind of partially symbiotic relationship and potential influence on the brains ability to experience emotions, particularly empathy (possibly the most important in regard to ‘civilisation’), as demonstrated at the end.

      I think the scientific evidence of the potential for dying of a broken heart and showing that the heart has a “mini brain” in the form of significant numbers of neural cells provides a credible enough basis to table a philosophical question of whether the connection between the brain and the heart is a two way street. The tone does possibly skirt a little too close to declaring this as a fully resolved fact which is slightly controversial, but all areas of research were sketchy in their infancy and in any case, I believe the real intention of this film is to use the collection of individual scientific researches to flesh out and lend colour to theories about the connection between mind and body which are often overlooked if not shunned in western medicine and culture, but are undeniable on certain levels.

      The film makes several references to the poetry of the heart and I think that is actually what it is, a poetic and spiritual exploration of human nature and what it means to feel. Perhaps the extent of truth-assertion was slightly misguided, but just because an idea may not be 100% provable or totally rooted in hard tangible fact does not mean it lacks merit. No one can see, touch or categorically define a soul yet most people subscribe in some way to the concept of it.

      The film maker has an obvious personal connection to the ideas presented and I suspect the project was partly a way to confront and exorcise demons on a painful aspect of his life. This itself reveals the vulnerability we all face which in turn speaks about what it means to be human, to feel, and critically is something we can all empathise with. That confounding quality of empathy, is a beguiling, altruistic part of our nature and something that I feel the film itself seeks not necessarily to explain, but to understand and therefore warrants acknowledgement. To criticise this film as a documentary is, I believe, to misunderstand its objective.

      Or maybe my pump’s just misfiring..

  • Zakarya Hadi

    heart is important bcz heart who let brain work and also theres some cells in heart human exchange information with cells brain so heart isnt just pump as u think

  • S.A.R.T

    How can I download it?

  • Ana Edwards

    The truth eludes those who are cynical, how do you know if you have a depraved and deceptive heart? By what comes out of it..Out of the abundance of the heart..the mouth speaks…

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