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The adult lower digestive tract can be stimulated to add neurons to the intestinal system, according to new mouse research in the August 5 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The study shows that drugs similar to the neurotransmitter serotonin increase the production of new neurons in the gut. This is the first research to confirm that an adult intestine can generate neurons in the enteric nervous system, the network of neurons in the gut’s wall that controls the gastrointestinal system.
A gut feeling, or gut reaction, is a visceral emotional reaction to something, and often one of uneasiness. Gut feelings are generally regarded as not modulated by conscious thought.
The phrase "gut feeling" may also be used as a short-hand term for an individual's "common sense" perception of what is considered "the right thing to do"; such as: helping an injured passerby, avoiding dark alleys and generally acting in accordance with instinctive feelings about a given situation. It can also refer to simple common knowledge phrases which are true no matter when said, such as "Water is wet", "Fire is hot", and even individual beliefs in quotation, such as "Allan Cooper loves Ewyllen Sarver more" and other such statements (see "Truthiness" for further examples).
Gut feelings, like all reflexive unconscious comparisons, can be re-programmed by practice or experiences.
Next time you're at a blackjack table trying to decide whether to hold or hit, just trust your gut. New research shows that our brains pick up on subliminal signals - a dealer's tell, for instance - when making risky decisions.
Gut feeling wins
"You just see some flickering pattern," Pessiglione says. Volunteers then had three seconds to decide whether to take the bet. "We just told the subjects to follow their intuition or gut feeling," he says.
Surprisingly, subjects got better at predicting whether they would win or not, eventually plateauing at slightly above chance, strong evidence that volunteers do not consciously notice the symbols but are affected by them nonetheless.
"If you are conscious, you win much more money, but you can still win money if you cannot consciously perceive the cues," Pessiglione says.
Sometimes, we have to admit how weak the rational logic and reasoning are when making complicated decisions. Sometimes, when you have already thought for many times, and have already made a decision, and the decision is well-informed, data-proven, and perfect-logic, you just about to make a decision, but at the last minute, you feel something is not right. It just does not FEEL right. You don't know why it is that way, but you just have that gut feeling. Can I call it intuition (BTW, I am an Intuition type of person - ENFP)?
I’d love to hear first hand stories of when people have *trusted their gut* and when they have not.
I know I’ve rarely gone wrong when I’ve trusted mine!
So these neurons are in communication with the neurons in our brain and that is the gut feeling? So I wonder if we just feel the communication or should we be able to decipher a meaning from it. Like a poker player is able know exactly what hands others are holding, maybe there is a message encoded in the gut feeling.
I am innocent of killing those 10 people! It was my gut made me do it!
Scientists have found evidence of what many of us already suspected: our brains and our guts "talk" to each other. In fact they are so intimately connected that some believe the gut and the brain should be viewed as part of one system.
We all know our gut is sensitive to emotions: we have "butterflies" in our stomach, we feel nauseous in certain situations, and some experiences can be "gut wrenching". These are all visceral manifestations of anxiety, anger, sadness, elation. Doctors know it is important to bear this in mind when treating gastrointestinal disorders that appear to have no obvious physical or infectious cause.
Our 30-foot long gut is embedded with cells of the enteric nervous system, the ENS, a complex system of around 100 million nerves which is often referred to as our "second brain". The ENS supervises the processes of digestion and stays in close contact with, and is heavily influenced by, the central nervous system (the CNS) which comprises the brain and spinal cord.
When the fetus grows in the womb, the ENS develops from the same tissue as the CNS, and in many respects its structure mirrors that of the brain in that it has sensory and motor neurons supported by a protective structure of glial cells which acts a bit like "scaffolding".
A neuron, also known as a neurone or nerve cell, is an excitable cell in the nervous system that processes and transmits information by electrochemical signalling. Neurons are the core components of the brain, the vertebrate spinal cord, the invertebrate ventral nerve cord, and the peripheral nerves. A number of specialized types of neurons exist: sensory neurons respond to touch, sound, light and numerous other stimuli affecting cells of the sensory organs that then send signals to the spinal cord and brain. Motor neurons receive signals from the brain and spinal cord and cause muscle contractions and affect glands. Wikipedia
Under a functional-MRI brain scanner, the researchers found that the subjects appeared to be basing their subconscious choices on activity in an area of their brains involved in conscious risk-taking - the striatum. During the game, a part of the brain involved in processing vision lit up, but only after the activity in the striatum. Pessiglione hypothesises that the striatum tells the vision-processing part of the brain how to pick up on the subliminal symbols linked to winning and losing. New Scientist