There have been dozens of documented cases where the recipient of a transplant, often involving the heart, apparently take on the personalities of the organ donor. Recipients also report memories of the donor, and memories that belong to the donor, despite never having met the donor. These cases range from very young children to adults. How can memories and behaviors be transmitted from one person to the next when brain and neural tissue is not involved? Does this phenomenon relate to the question of consciousness?
Source articles for the episode:
B. Bunzel, B. Schmidl-Mohl, A. Grundböck and G. Wollenek, “Does Changing the Heart Mean Changing Personality? A Retrospective Inquiry on 47 Heart Transplant Patients?” Quality of Life Research, vol 1, no 4 (1992): 251-256
Paul Pearsall, Gary E. R. Schwartz, Linda G. S. Russek, “CHANGES IN HEART TRANSPLANT RECIPIENTS THAT PARALLEL THE PERSONALITIES OF THEIR DONORS,” Integrative Medicine vol 2, nos. 2-3 (1999): 67-52; republished in the Journal of Near Deaf Studies vol 20, no 3 (2002): 191-206. HTML version
Thomas Verny, “What Cells Remember: Toward a Unified Field Theory of Memory,” Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, vol 29, no 1 (Fall 2014): 16-29