The gut: our first brain

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Science is giving the intestine a decisive role in the nervous system, placing it as the conductor of the neuronal orchestra. We will see how the gut and brain communicate.

[Music] [Sound] in the year 2011 a study was published in a very prestigious scientific  very prestigious scientific journal that showed   that the microbiota influenced cognition and behavior

  behavior, this study that was conducted   with rats an animal study showed that when rats enjoyed a  rats enjoyed a microbiota that   was healthy because they had growth factors  learning processes regulation of their   behavior that was therefore healthy normal healthy however when these animals  however when these animals were interfered with   and their microbiota was altered, there were produced  alterations in the learning for example   they were opposed to animals in an environment where they had to learn to  they had to learn to forage for their own food   these animals did not know how to recognize the way  they had social behaviors i

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the   behavior among them quite altered  then we came to the conclusion to start to   the neuroscience world wondered if the microbiota of the gut  really the gut microbiota had something to do with the   to do with our behavior that is to say with processes not as high as it could be the attention the memory

   the regulation of our behavior but above all  but above all it began to give clues of one of the biggest   discoveries, and that was that the microbiota had a lot to say  a lot to say in our social behavior at   from there is where they started to rethink that the microbiota had a role in the  microbiota had a role in the nervous system

   that it was not only biochemical that is to say that it was not only that it influenced the regulation of the   neurotransmitters or that it favored the processes by which the  processes by which the development of the   neuronal activity, but it began to rethink  if really the microbiota influences directly   in the response of our brain that is to say  that our brain does one thing versus   others that some areas are activated more than others in behaviors  others in behaviors because they are very high   such as for example the learning, the attention  and the perception of the other then from there   so he started to study what is the interaction  between the intestine and the brain not only from it   biochemistry point of view not only considering the intestinal microbiota but also considering as   the activity that our intestine and our stomach generates  our stomach the electrical activity that   constantly generate was related to the electromagnetic activity  electromagnetic activity produced by our   the experiments that began to be carried out  experiments began to be carried out because they consisted in measuring in   people to measure electrical activity to measure  what was happening with the neural activity of the brain

   of people when they were performing tasks and simultaneously  tasks and simultaneously measure the activity   and intestine what was seen was a result that at first  what was seen was a result that at the beginning   was very striking and that is to say that it was very much  debated there was a lot of resistance to accept it   because what was demonstrated in these studies was that the  studies was that the interaction of the intestine   and the brain and it's going more from the gut to the  brain than it does from the brain to the gut which is what   these researchers showed in concept this was a group he from the university of paris   led by professor Katherine bolon Madrid which demonstrated that electromagnetic energy   the electromagnetic fields generated by our stomach and intestine are in constant   communication and what makes the relationship that we have from the  from the intestine to our brain is   was based on modulating the language of our neurons what these researchers discovered was that   the electrical activity of the intestine shapes regulates  the amount of alpha oscillations that are produced   in our brain the alpha oscillations are the most used  the language most used by our brain we know   that our brain neurons that emit  electrical firing every so often pa pa pa and that they do it periodically they can do it in up to five different languages  do it in up to five different languages on   priority language of our brain is what we call the alpha rhythm  we call the alpha rhythm which is approximately that   neurons emit up to 8 to 10 electrical impulses per second

  electrical impulses per second the neuronal language is the   the way neurons communicate with each other, i

e

neurons  with each other i

e

neurons areas of the brain   that are distant to communicate begin  to speak, so to speak, in the same language and   this allows a synchronization the alpha oscillations as I say  alpha oscillations as I say are the predominant ones but about   all have an essential role in our well-being  the alpha oscillations do what they do when they appear   in our brain is that they allow us to sustain our attention  attention the alpha oscillations have been interpreted   as if we have in our brain stop signals that allow us to stop the  stop signals that allow us to stop the interferences   coming both from the outside world and from  inside the body for example to imagine that   we are now attending to this video  that you are watching we are attending to   a reading process we are performing a random task I have to hold my attention on   the task that I am performing for this I need to  to have an activity in the frontal cortex that is   strong this part of my brain has to be active it has to be  active it has to be strong for me to maintain   sustain that activity but that maintenance  that reinforcement of frontal activity is seen   accompanied by a chorus of neurons that begins to fire electrical discharges with an alpha rhythm

po po po po po at approximately 8 to 10 shots per second  second when those waves appear on the   brain that start to appear on the back side and propagate  back and they're propagating and they're propagating and they're propagating   from the front part is as if we were  deploying in our brain signals of   stop signals that allow both internal and external  and external interferences are set aside and I can   to be maintaining my attention process so that  studying what it is that causes those   alpha oscillations or not of the brain is one of the most important  the most important topics in neuroscience   because there are people that have more alpha waves and others have less because there are  others have less because there are processes that we   more alpha waves or less alpha waves because what this study from the  did this study from the university of paris   was to show that the alpha waves that appear in our brain seem to be  our brain seem to be very modulated and very   regulated by the activity of the gut then fixed this for the neuroscience world

   it was completely revolutionary that's why I tell you  that it was not at all easy to get it accepted because it was   to recognize that the brain had been affected  by other organs than just the brain and so it was also to recognize that cognition  was not only located or not only involved in the   the activity of our brain involves also  the activity of other organs as it is in particular   the activity of the intestine then the activity  of this activity that we observe in the   intestine which is obviously very much related to the intestinal microbiota modulates the response of the   our brain i

e

the ability that we have to pay attention to  to pay attention to something is also seen   influenced by the gut is one of the repercussions that had  implications that I had of the implications of the   that we might find in it is that when we want to cultivate certain  is that when we want to cultivate certain   mental states for example meditation  for example attention control we don't   we only have to pay attention or give care  what are the purely cognitive processes or   purely intellectual what we have always  been as a mind to take care of the mind as well   we have to take care of the body to be able to control  the cognitive processes such as attention and   the memory we also have to control everything  what is our intestinal activity between what we   which includes the physical exercise, the intake of medications  of medicines the pollution and above all   diet and this is one of the results that showed the  showed the relationship that goes from the intestine to the   to the brain but recently two years ago another study came out  another study came out recently two years ago that showed that there's also   a control from the brain to the gut because it was very important not  very important not because the areas of the brain that   were involved in controlling what was going on in the  going on in the stomach and in the intestine were   pretty much frontal areas, what does that mean  so the implications and so that ended up with the   researchers of this article did not finish  their work by saying this opens the door to   non-pharmacological treatments for stomach and intestinal  stomach and intestinal disturbances because it   because it is the frontal cortex if it is the frontal cortex  that is involved in the control of the stomach   and the intestine we can for example work the attention for example meditation  attention for example meditation which strengthens   the frontal cortex would have as a consequence a regulation of the  regulation of the processes that happen in our brain

   enteric system in our digestive system this  because that was an anatomical study that was published   a very prestigious scientific journal because it gave rise to one of the things that had been observed   no and it was that because programs based on meditation in the  meditation based programs in the regulation of attention   could be applied for example to digestive disorders  digestive disorders what the neuroscience is telling us today in   what is the direct relationship between the intestine  and the brain is that there's a great connection of the   intestine to the brain the intestine modulates  so the electrical activity of our brain   it makes the neurons able to speak in one language in front of the other our microbiota regulates the production of   neurotransmitters in our brain as we will see that has a lot of clinical implications that   neurotransmitters are the neurotransmitters the neurotransmitters  are those hormones that the neurons are   exchange when they communicate with each other have always been known as the chemical basis for the   thought are the packets of information that are passed from one  information packets that are passed from one neuron to the other that we have a   deficit of a certain neurotransmitter because it can provoke us to episodes  cause us to have episodes for example of depression   acute without reaching clinical levels a deficit  for example in the neurotransmitter of serotonin   produces apathetic moods low moods  mood states low mood states today what we know is   that this neurotransmitter which is serotonin in approximately  approximately 90% is produced in the intestine   then you can see how through the study of the biochemistry of the  biochemistry of the intestine and through the study of   the electricity of the intestine we see a direct  direct relationship that goes from the gut to the brain

what we mean by this is to take care of our mental health  our mental health take care of our well being   also takes care of everything that regulates our microbiota  regulates our microbiota such as our diet

   how is physical exercise how is the ingestion of medications  of medications how it is to live in environments with a   high pollution and social relationships  but it's not just the gut a little bit that's why   modulate our emotional states, the gut has come to be called the regulator of the   state of mind but the mind we  consciously working the conscious self   of something by working the attention we can also  control the activity of our intestine and   one of the things that I think that this whole field of neuroscience is telling us that relates   the brain to the whole body is that the  relationships always go both ways   there is a road not that is more unconscious more  precognitive that comes from the body which is the   interoception that makes us experience the emotions as they come from our body but at the same time the   neuroscience is also showing that there is  a more mental more intentional pathway that goes from   from the top down that is from the mental control  of what's going on in the body for me what we're   neuroscience tells us today is that mind and body are inseparable

  and body are inseparable they are the two faces I have of   the same coin and that to separate them is nothing more than a  more than I think a scientific fiction

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