2015 Press Releases

State-of-mind or state-of-gut?

19 Mar 2015
Professor John Cryan (Image courtesy of YouTube/TEDMED)

"Your state of mind might be dependent on your state of gut," says Professor John Cryan in a new TEDMED video, ahead of a Twitter Q&A later this evening (19 March 2015).

Professor Cryan is Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience and Principal Investigator in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Center (APC) at UCC.

His talk, 'Food for thought: How gut microbes change your mind', is now hosted on the prestigious TEDMED channel.

In the video, Professor Cryan shares surprising and perhaps weird facts and insights about where some of our thoughts and emotions actually come from. He will also take part in a live Twitter Q&A today (Thursday 19 March 2015) at 6.30pm GMT as part of international Brain Awareness Week. Follow @jfcryan and @TedMed #TEDMED for more details.


The research has far-reaching public health implications, from how we view Caesarean sections, to the manner in which the microbiome influences brain development, to the impact of probiotics on mood. His work shows that the term "gut feeling" might actually make neurobiological sense.

Professor Cryan's talk was placed in the "Weird and Wonderful" session of TEDMED which discusses science and health trends that came out of left field, defied expectations or simply seem completely off the wall (in a good way).

Recent international coverage of his work includes:

Gut Feelings Radiolab, Robert Krulwich, WNYC, Season 10, Episode 7.

Can the bacteria in your gut send message to your brain? Science Friday, Ira Flatow, WNYC, Aug. 27, 2014

Probiotic Bacteria Chill Out Anxious Mice Science Friday, Ira Flatow, WNYC, Sept. 02, 2011.

Cesarean birth alters immune system, social behavior in mice Hughes, V. Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative. Nov 18 2014.

Mental Health May Depend on Creatures in the Gut Schmidt, C. Scientific American. February 2015.

When Yogurt Affects the Brain Khazan, O. The Atlantic. Sept 23 2014.

Our Microbiome May Be Looking Out For Itself Zimmer, C. New York Times. Aug 14 2014.

Understanding psychobiotics Lawson, C. WIRED Health. Mar. 9 2015.

Body bacteria: Can your gut bugs make you smarter? Swain, F. BBC Future. Feb. 21, 2014.

Mental Health: Thinking from the gut Schmidt, C. Nature. Feb. 26, 2015.

Gut-brain link grabs neuroscientists Reardon, S. Nature. Nov. 12, 2014.

Friends with social benefits: host-microbe interactions as a driver of brain evolution and development? Stilling, R, SR Bordenstein, et al. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. Oct 2014.

Mind-altering microorganisms: the impact of the gut microbiota on brain and behavior Cryan JF, TG Dinan. Nat Rev Neurosci. Oct 2012. 13, 701–12.

TEDMED is the independently owned and operated health and medicine edition of the world-famous TED conference, dedicated to “ideas worth spreading.” TED Talks have been viewed online over two billion times around the world. Created by TED’s founder, TEDMED convenes and curates extraordinary people and ideas from all disciplines both inside and outside of medicine in pursuit of unexpected connections that accelerate innovation in health and medicine. 

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