Scientists learn more about the fascinating connection between our brains and our bowels


Technically known as the enteric nervous system, the second brain consists of sheaths of neurons embedded in the walls of the long tube of our gut, or alimentary canal, which measures about nine meters end to end from the esophagus to the anus. The second brain contains some 100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system.

In my case, I’m worried the lines on the graph are going to cross over at some point and it’ll overtake my brain.

Wow. So Stephen Colbert was right about the whole Truthiness and Gut Feeling thing?

I am really excitied about this news. It gives us hope that feeding the right kind of yogurt to socially frustrated teenage boys might prevent Objectivism.


This gives a somewhat more nuanced meaning to “shit for brains.”


I just hate when my bowels cause me obsessive behaviors and anxiety.

I wonder if “second brain” is the correct term? I’d guess our digestive track goes further back the family tree than our big wobbly brains.


And I thought it was just me that felt like ass some days!

1 Like

My lower Dan Tien approves of this message.

funny, this aspect of autism research was one of things Moises Velasquez-Manoff was reporting about (in book & in op-ed for NYTimes) – that got him a lot of blow back, including on bb! guess that’s the hard part of popular-science writing-- how to report without coming off as big advocate for as yet unproven therapies!

1 Like

Stories about this always remind me of my dad telling me about how the stegosaurus had a secondary brain down there.


Since there’s been a slew of lactobacilus delivery systems such as Yakult for decades now, when are we gonna be able to shop for Bacteroides fragilis products at the local health store?
Happy gut = less anxiety, etc.

1 Like

Yeah, I know a coupla overly-anxious talking monkeys who seriously need their granola spiked…

I agree! The name “second brain” was made popular by gastroneurologist Michael Gershon, who wrote a clever and intelligent book by the same name. However, it’s clear from his experiments that the ENS can function in a limited capacity removed from the body…so instead of being part of the ANS as Gershon suggests I think of it more as a different, older CNS.

1 Like

And you thought the NSA was just reading your email…

The words “mouse model for autism” is always a red flag.

1 Like

Besides, there was that Futurama episode about intelligent worms from a gas station sandwich setting up a civilization in Fry’s bowel…

Sorry, I know it’s just a rambling old reference, but you know, I…I just had to. I hate myself.

This topic was automatically closed after 4 days. New replies are no longer allowed.