Asked by JenifferBiology 🌱

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 doesn’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 🌱

ASKED BY XXALDIDXX

BIOLOGY 🌱

What is photosynthesis?

Photosynthesis is a chemical reaction that happens in the leaves of a plant to food for it to survive. Photosynthesis takes place in the part of the...

ASKED BY ELLIE

BIOLOGY 🌱

Do the cells in an asexual reproduction divide by mitosis or meiosi?

They would divide by mitosis. Examples include budding, hydras, vegetative propagation and strawberries. ...

ASKED BY JESS

BIOLOGY 🌱

How do you work out the percentage of someone with blue eyes from a genetic diagram? (BB, BB, BB in a table?

If it’s just one characteristic the table is referred to as a monohybrid cross, so there should be four possible outcomes. For example if the parent...

ASKED BY ROSS

BIOLOGY 🌱

Why is it necessary men having more red blood cells per cubic millimeter of blood than women?

Hi, women have reproductive cyclefor every 30days so they loose RBC.Thus less RBC are found in female mammals...

ASKED BY JAKE

BIOLOGY 🌱

What is a eukaryote ?

A eukaryote is a cell (can also be a single cell organism) that has a membrane bound nucleus, organelles (little organs) and linear chromosomes (com...

ASKED BY FATMA

BIOLOGY 🌱

Where and how does pH affect carbohydrases?

Carbohydrases are enzymes that break down carbohydrates into smaller sugar molecules. They are usually made in the the pancreas and released into th...

ASKED BY FATMA

BIOLOGY 🌱

What happens to the fatty acids and glycerol once absorbed into the epithelium?

These two products of fat digestion, once absorbed by the epithelial cells of the small intestine, are re-formed and into triglycerides whilst insid...

ASKED BY PHOEBE-LILY

BIOLOGY 🌱

Why is eating a healthy, balanced diet so important to the body?

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best. This means eating a wide variety o...

ASKED BY SOPHIE

BIOLOGY 🌱

What is Genetic Engineering?

Genetic engineering refers to direct manipulation process of the DNA to alter the characteristics of an organism (this can be of an animal, plant or...

ASKED BY YASHVI

BIOLOGY 🌱

Why are stem cells (from bone marrow) able to repair damaged heart tissue?

Stem cells are unspecialised cells that can differentiate and be used to repair various tissues, including heart one. When used in medical intervent...

Find me a tutor

We take your privacy seriously. View our policy.