Did you grow up believing that conscious awareness is not only a function of the brain but originates in the brain itself? Think again. Studies suggest that consciousness emerges from the brain and body acting together. A growing body of evidence suggests that the heart plays a particularly significant role in this process. Far more than a simple pump, the heart is now viewed as a highly complex, self-organizing information processing center. It has its own functional heart-brain that communicates with, and influences, the cranial brain via the nervous system, hormonal system, and other pathways.