It is a common belief that the heart is somehow related to emotions. When we are nervous,our heartbeat is effected (increased heart rate) and when we are happy, another pattern in heart function can be observed.
My question is the following. Does the heart have a significant role in the occurence of emotions, or is it that the heart is just an organ that pumps blood and these physiological changes are merely a by-product of processes relevant to emotion?
Is the heart's function of interest to any cognitive scientific field of study?