Asked by JenifferBiology ๐ŸŒฑ

Does heartbeat depend on the brain?

Profile picture

VERIFIED

Verified tutor tick

Shahidul Islam

Passionate about maths and science. Currently tutoring full time

The heart pumps blood to all parts of the body including the brain through arteries. The brain sends electrical signals/impulses to certain parts of the body (via nerve cells). As they operate differently you can say the heart doesnโ€™t depend on the brain. The brain does depend on the heart as the brain still needs oxygen to function.

Profile picture

VERIFIED

Verified tutor tick

Matthew Cotton

Graduate entry medical student with a 1st class Masters and BSc

Hi Jennifer, this is a complicated question. The heart itself has the ability to generate its own contraction. This is due to all the cells of the heart (cardiac myocytes) working together in synchronisation. This is technically called a syncytium. They all carry small electrochemical impulses that drive the heart to contract. This contraction starts at the top right of the heart in an area known as the Sino-Atrial Node. The heart cells then carry the electrochemical impulse to an area in the middle of the heart called the atrio-ventricular node. From here the impulse then spreads down the middle of the heart and around the outside leading to the muscle contracting. The is a single heart beat. However, the rate at which the heart beats IS dependent on the brain and is controlled by two areas. These are located in an area of the brainstem called the medulla. The area responsible for lowering heart rate is called the cardio-inhibitory centre and the area for increasing it is the cardio-acceleratory centre. These are important for reacting to the internal pressures of the body and send messages to the heart in order to control the rate at which it beats. I hope that helps!

Profile picture

VERIFIED

Verified tutor tick

Rhian Fraser

Get your children off to a great start this summer!

Cardiac muscle (the muscle in your heart) is very unique in that it can beat independently. Supposedly if you were to put a heart into some water with some electrolytes it would beat. The SA node (sinoatrial) can (right side of heart) produce electrical signals that makes the heart beat, thus being a natural pacemaker. However heart rate can be affected by hormones such as adrenaline which is controlled via the brain.

Answers from these tutors

Asked in Biology ๐ŸŒฑ

ASKED BY VICKY

BIOLOGY ๐ŸŒฑ

How do i get clearer skin?

Increase your water intake try to start with half a litre to 1 litre at first so that you donโ€™t get tempted to not stick with it. Cut down on the ju...

ASKED BY KYLE

BIOLOGY ๐ŸŒฑ

How are epithelial cells effected by COPD?

simply speaking there is more of inflammation and mucus production. there is a whole mechanistic pathway involved in the process of cells being effe...

ASKED BY EMMA

BIOLOGY ๐ŸŒฑ

GCSE Biology- What is the difference between nitrifying bacteria, denitrifying bacteria, nitrifying-fixing bacteria and decomposing the bacteria, in regards to the nitrogen cycle?

Nitrifying bacteria: converters of soil ammonia to nitrates, compounds usable by plants. Denitrifying bacteria in the soil break down nitrates and r...

ASKED BY AUDREY

BIOLOGY ๐ŸŒฑ

How does pulse differ from blood pressure?

Hi Audrey, good question. Your blood pressure is a measurement of the force the blood is being passed through the blood vessels. It is measured as s...

ASKED BY AUDREY

BIOLOGY ๐ŸŒฑ

If neurons in the central nervous system lack centrioles and are unable to divide, how do brain tumors develop?

Hi Audrey, There are more than one type of cell in the brain, these include astrocytes, microglia and other structural cells. Whilst the neurons do ...

ASKED BY MAX

BIOLOGY ๐ŸŒฑ

The vaccine for tuberculosis contains a dead form of the tuberculosis bacterium. how does the body respond to the vaccine? How is passive immunity brought about? When is it needed?

There are several different types of vaccine, dead, attenuated and acellular. The idea is the the vaccines contain proteins/lipids that the immune s...

ASKED BY CHENCHEN

BIOLOGY ๐ŸŒฑ

What is mitosis and how does it work?

Hi Chenchen, mitosis is the type of cell division that results in a new cell with the same amount of chromosomes as the original cell. Essentially t...

ASKED BY SAN SAN

BIOLOGY ๐ŸŒฑ

What is biodiversity?

the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is usually considered to be important and desira...

ASKED BY RAPHAEL

BIOLOGY ๐ŸŒฑ

How does the plant use glucose?

The most basic answer to this is to provide energy. Like many living things plants use glucose in a chemical reaction called respiration that uses o...

ASKED BY CHENCHEN

BIOLOGY ๐ŸŒฑ

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are non specialised cells, which as well as dividing to produce more cells as all other cells do, can differentiate in any other type of ...

Find me a tutor

We take your privacy seriously. View our policy.