Do Our Organs Have Memories?

Transplant patients sometimes take on part of their donors’ personalities.

Glenda lost her husband, David, in a car crash. She made his organs available for transplant. A few years later, as part of a study by neuropsychologist Paul Pearsall, she met the young Spanish-speaking man who had received her late husband’s heart. Filled with emotion, Glenda asked if she could lay her hand on his chest. “I love you, David,” she said. “Everything’s copa­cetic.”

The young man’s mother, also present, was startled. “My son uses that word now,” she said. “He never said it before his heart transplant. I don’t know that word; it doesn’t exist in Spanish. But it was the first thing he said after the operation.”

Her son appeared to have changed in other ways too. Before, he had been a health-conscious vegetarian; now he craved meat and greasy food. He had loved heavy metal music; now he played nothing but fifties rock ’n’ roll. Glenda’s husband had been an ardent meat-lover and played in a rock ’n’ roll band.

Does the heart have a memory? Is part of an organ donor’s personality also transferred to the recipient in a transplant? Yes, contends Pearsall in his book The Heart’s Code, which provides other remarkable examples of transplanted hearts with memories.

An 8-year-old girl received the heart of a 10-year-old girl who had been murdered. The recipient ended up at a psychiatrist’s office, plagued by nightmares about her donor’s murderer. She said she knew who the man was. After a few sessions, the psychiatrist decided to notify the police. Following the girl’s instructions, they tracked down the murderer. The man was convicted on evidence she had provided the first clues about: the time, the weapon, the place, the clothes he wore, what his victim told him. Everything the girl said turned out to be true.

Pearsall’s book is based on 73 heart-transplant cases in which parts of the donors’ personalities appear to have been transferred to the recipients.

Pearsall argues that the brain is not the only centre of human intelligence. The heart, he says, carries equal importance. He posits that the body is made up of cells that transmit “information.” Cells communicate this information to each other electromagnetically. Thus a transplanted organ can continue to broadcast old information, something like amputees’ experience of pain in lost limbs. Phenomena like these suggest cells have memories.

Critics deny the existence of proof that memories can be transplanted along with organs, and fear such assertions will cause donor numbers to fall. Some non-believers attribute personality changes in transplant recipients to the heavy drugs they must take to prevent organ rejection.

But what should we make of the documented story of an 8-year-old Jewish boy who died in a car wreck? His death was the salvation of a 3-year-old Arab girl with a dangerous heart condition. As soon as the girl woke up from the anaesthesia after surgery, she asked by name for a type of Jewish candy she could not have known existed.

Pearsall’s book raises fascinating questions that shake the foundations of science.


Penny C.
penny C5 years ago


Dot A.
Dot A5 years ago

you made me laugh~

my first reading was:
do your orgasms have memories

and while this is a rather serious article
a soft smile came to my face

as some sweet memories
warmed my mind

Ajla C.
Past Member 6 years ago

ne znam,nadam se da ne

Dee D.
De D6 years ago

I really don't know if organs have memories. Certainly,something happened here with some of those organ recipients, but who really knows?

Rebecca S.
Rebecca S6 years ago

I don't really believe that organs contain memory.

dAlbert M.
dAlbert M6 years ago

Thank you for the compliment Duane though I do not think it was as ‘lofty’ as you make it out to be when I wrote it as I really did that “on the hoof” without much thought, to “tease” rather than initiate a ‘gravid’ (pregnant) Scholarly discussion ! Anyway here are the ‘facts’ as currently scientifically and technically commonly established : -
a).Biological (including Humans) CELLS, much like the micro-circuits or ‘memory chips’ (ARMS or Intel) in the Computer you used to write the ‘Care2 personal message’ on need to be able to communicate with each other in order to make its (COMPUTER’s) programs ‘written and electronically etched ‘ onto ‘flash’ memories for specific TASKs such as Word Processes, Data Processes, Image Displays (e.g Power-point on Microsoft Windows etc) etc work . COMMUNICATION is the bases for ALL MEMORIES whether in Human Body Cell or Computers Systems
b).Biologically an ‘ORGAN’ is simply a collection of Cells , TASKED to perform certain functions such as:-
1). Filtering ‘body-wastes’ from the 60 -70% WATER the Body Cells slosh about in the case of KIDNEY
organ cells and then let it ‘drain’ down to a fluid reservoir ORGAN whose only function is to briefly
store it and then automatically expel it when full .
*_.It is the BLADDER ORGAN made up of MUSCLE CELLS armed with only ONE MEMORY

Duane B.
.6 years ago

An excellent article! Very thought provoking!

Rob S.
Rob S7 years ago

I've often wondered about this from a biological view. Most organs etc contain nerves which are very similar although not the same as neurons that are found in the brain.
We have hardwired reflex's such as removing our hands from something hot before the brain has a chance to register it's hot. To me this would seem our nerves are capable of storing some rudimentary if only hardwired information as to what to do when certain stimuli are experienced.
Why is it impossible for some of our memories etc to bleed/move into our nerves systems from our the neurons in our brain?
I don't rule the possibility of anything out anymore and I'm surprised that medical community is so against finding out or researching this more closely.

Jasmina U.
Jasmina Utevska8 years ago

Мy husband has arm bone transplantation before 44 years, when he was 6 years old. The bone was from a boy donor, and bone marrow was taken from his mother hip and his own hip.
Everything is OK with him, but our son on his 16 years age has a bone outgrowth call “exostose” on the same arm and on the same place.
A genetic information from his father and the donor, a new bone start to growth. The doctors didn’t know what to do. A new bone part was growing at the same place.
But we solve the problem with homeotherapeutic drugs, without surgeon. My son takes these drugs for 3 months, and the bone growth stop and the bone outgrowth was desorbed too.
The body cell has his own intelligence and somebody call it memory, but what we do and what we care to is what we are made from.
Love and trust to some higher intelligence (Good) is the power.
Best to all

Michael Donnelly
Michael Donnelly8 years ago

This is true and really simple if your a true christian. The Lord said the "blood crys out" in Genesis.
Genesis 4:9-10 (KJV)
9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
If you still don't believe, I pray for you because all those who don't believe is already condemed and will go to the worst place you can imagine and multiply that by a million.