What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Gut Bacteria Alters Your Brain Chemistry

May 22, 2011, 8:38 AM
Stomach

What's the Latest Development?

Published in the journal Gastroenterology, a study on the relationship between gut bacteria and brain chemistry in mice has found the two are related in surprising ways. Disrupting the normal gut flora of the mice led to a change in the animals' behavior, making them less timid and more adventurous, as well as leading to changes in their brain chemistry. "'It may be that those changes in gut bacteria not only contribute to the generation of gut symptoms, like diarrhea or pain, but may also contribute to this altered behavior that we see in those patients,” said researcher Stephen Collins, of the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada."

What's the Big Idea?

If the physiological behavior of the mice turns out to be similar to that of humans, the research could explain why some gastrointestinal diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome, are often associated with disorders that can affect behavior, including depression and anxiety. "If gut bacteria play some role in human behavior as well, it's possible therapies that aim to restore normal gut flora, such as probiotics, may be helpful in correcting behavior and mood changes in those with gastrointestinal diseases, Collins said."


 

Gut Bacteria Alters Your Br...

Newsletter: Share: