Our nervous system is a very complex network of neural interactions and there is still a lot to be learned about it. However, each day researchers are discovering new things about how the different parts of it are interconnected in our body. People are usually most familiar with the body’s central nervous system, which is made up of the brain and spinal cord. This network of nerves, neurons (nerve cells) and neurotransmitters (chemicals that help pass along nerve cell signals) extends from the brain to all the major organs of the body.
There is also a lesser-known part of our body’s nervous system located in our gut, called the enteric nervous system. The enteric nervous system’s network of nerves, neurons and neurotransmitters extends along the entire digestive tract - from the esophagus, through the stomach and intestines, and down to the anus.
The enteric nervous system happens to rely on the same type of neurons and neurotransmitters as the central nervous system: this is why some medical experts call it our “second brain.” This “second brain” in our gut can communicate with the brain in our head, thus playing a key role in certain diseases in our bodies and in our overall mental health.
There are several familiar examples of this interaction, one of which is the following: when a person feels danger, the “fight or flight” response of the central nervous system is triggered. At the same time, the enteric nervous system’s response is to slow down or stop digestion. This is done so that more of the body’s energy can be diverted to the situation causing the threat.
Adapted from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/16358-gut-brain-connection
Architect: Antanas Gerlikas
Translator: Alexandra Bondarev
The exhibition is sponsored by the Lithuanian Council for Culture
Gintarė Sokelytė, born in 1986 in Lithuania, lives and works in Frankfurt am Main. Professional film editor by background. She received the Lithuanian Cinema Award - the Silver Crane - for the best editing twice, in 2013 and 2016.
Currently Gintarė is a student at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. In the last 4 years, she developed her interest in drawing, painting and sculpture. Her artistic practice consists mainly of documenting human behavior in the immediate environment. Recent exhibitions include: And This is Us 2021 – Junge Kunst aus Frankfurt, Frankfurter Kuntsverein, Frankfurt; Building Activation, Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule in Frankfurt; Proselyte, Montos Tattoo, Vilnius.