Terrorism

Go With Your Gut

|

guts

In the wake of the Chertoff gut-trusting scandal, Slate's Explainer asks: "How much does your gut actually know?"

Plenty. In fact, your gut is so packed with neurons that in the 1990s one gastroneurologist, Michael Gershon, dubbed it the "second brain." This enteric nervous system looks a lot like the network of cells that exists in your actual brain, and it uses all the same neurotransmitters (including 95 percent of the body's serotonin). It can operate on its own—that's without cranial consultation—to start or stop the flow of digestive enzymes, regulate pH levels inside the gut, or expel that week-old sushi that you ate against the better judgment of brain No. 1.

President Bush told Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward that he was a "gut player," when explaining his decision to go into Iraq. No word on the relationship between the wattage of brain No. 1 and brain No. 2.

NEXT: Dispatches from the Mommy Wars

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. this post is hollow without a Stephen Colbert reference

  2. OR A LOBSTER GIRL PHOTO.

  3. Between my brain, my penis, and now my stomach, I don’t know what to think anymore.

  4. Aren’t people who think with their gut usually full of shit.

  5. Some people go with God.

    Some people go with the information at hand.

    Some people go with their gut.

    Some people go with their feelings.

    Some people go with their gut feelings.

    Some people go with their gut feelings based on the information at hand given to them by God.

    Studies have shown they are all right about 50% of the time.

  6. Cab left off his heart. Oh yeah, I forgot,
    libertarians don’t have hearts.

  7. MORE PASTA SALAD

    That’s what happens when you post from the gut. And the gut can’t type for shit, either.

  8. it uses all the same neurotransmitters (including 95 percent of the body’s serotonin)

    Phenomena associated with elevated serotonin levels in the brain: euphoria, feelings of emotional connectedness, and/or general well being; increased wakefullness, risk taking, aggression, and creative activity; increased self-confidence up to including delusions of grandeur

    Phenomena associated with elevated serotonin levels in the gut: watery bowel movements

  9. All that to make a Bush is an ass joke….

    sigh…

    Just so we remember…He did lower taxes.

  10. Here’s a page from whitehouse.org which illustrates which part of Bush’s anatomy was calling the shots when he decided to strut across an aircraft carrier like a latter-day Roman emperor.

  11. Phenomena associated with elevated serotonin levels in the gut: watery bowel movements

    You forgot cramping.

    Michael Gershon’s book The Second Brain is actually a really good book that discusses this topic in great detail.

  12. Yes, a colbert reference is needed.

  13. “MORE PASTA SALAD”

    Pasta does build up more serotonin.

  14. “Oh yeah, I forgot,
    libertarians don’t have hearts.”

    We have hearts, we just don’t believe government coercion of funds to pay for welfare equals charity.

    When liberals support coercive welfare measures where everybody is forced to pay in, they feel they’ve done their part in being charitable.

  15. “Some people go with their gut feelings based on the information at hand given to them by God.”

    That would be George W. Bush concerning his decision to go to war in Iraq.

  16. Rattlesnake: I know that’s your tag, but you don’t have to strike at every drive-by troll. 😉

  17. But is Chertoff’s gut feeling based upon the Bush administration’s approval rating and desire to invade Iran?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.