The Brain and Gut

Understanding the Complex Bidirectional Interactions between the Digestive System and the Brain

The brain and the digestive system closely influence each other. While stress and anxiety can be associated with aberrant signals from the brain upsetting our stomach (“butterflies”), subliminal signals from the gut influence our intuitive decision making (“gut feelings”). Chemicals released from the gut after a meal produce a feeling of wellness and turn off hunger, while the role of the trillions of “good” bacteria in our intestine may play a role in setting our background emotions and pain sensitivity.


Center investigators aim to gain a better understanding of these complex interactions with the goals to maintain digestive wellness, reduce chronic abdominal pain and optimize our diet.