The Coherent Heart Heart–Brain Interactions, Psychophysiological Coherence, and the Emergence of System-Wide Order

Author: McCraty, R., Atkinson, M., Tomasino, D., Trevor Bradley, R.
HeartMath Research Center, Institute of HeartMath
Conference/Journal: ResearchGate
Date published: 2009 Dec
Other: Word Count: 190

This article presents theory and research on the scientific study of emotion thatemphasizes the importance of coherence as an optimal psychophysiological state. Adynamic systems view of the interrelations between psychological, cognitive andemotional systems and neural communication networks in the human organism providesa foundation for the view presented. These communication networks are examined froman information processing perspective and reveal a fundamental order in heart-braininteractions and a harmonious synchronization of physiological systems associated withpositive emotions. The concept of coherence is drawn on to understand optimalfunctioning which is naturally reflected in the heart’s rhythmic patterns. Research ispresented identifying various psychophysiological states linked to these patterns, withneurocardiological coherence emerging as having significant impacts on well being.These include psychophysiological as well as improved cognitive performance. Fromthis, the central role of the heart is explored in terms of biochemical, biophysical andenergetic interactions. Appendices provide further details and research on;psychophysiological functioning, reference previous research in this area, details onresearch linking coherence with optimal cognitive performance, heart brainsynchronization and the energetic signature of the various psychophysiological modes.