30 Awesome Facts About The Brain
* Verified by a US-based board-certified doctor.
1. You Can’t Multitask
When you “multitask,” your brain is actually just “context-switching” between different tasks. Not only that, but research has shown that this can increase your error rate by as much as 50-80%.
2. The Brain Can’t Feel Pain
Even though the brain is full of coverings and blood vessels with pain receptors, the brain itself doesn’t contain any. This lack of pain is what allows brain surgeons to operate on people while they’re awake.
3. You Use Most of Your Brain Most of The Time
That old myth about how you only use 10% of your brain is just that, a myth. You use more than 10% even while you’re sleeping! Your brain is constantly working to process information, think, move, interpret sensory input, and much more.
4. The Adult Brain Weighs ~3 Pounds
Meaning that it makes up ~2-3% of your overall body weight, and most of this is due to the brain’s cerebrum.
5. Brains Aren’t Permanently Arranged at Birth
Your nerve cells change and adapt based on how they’re utilized during the first year of life.
6. Brains Grow Three Times in Size During Your First Year of Life
By the time a baby is two years old, it will have approximately 80% of a fully grown brain, and it will continue to grow until about the age of 18.
7. Your Brain is a Greedy Organ
It uses up to 20% of the oxygen in your body and about 30% of your blood. It requires much more attention and support in comparison to other essential parts of your body.
8. 75% of Your Brain is Water
This means you need to be careful about dehydration. Even being hydrated by as little as 2% can cause negative impacts on how your brain can function.
9. Your Brain is Mostly Fat
The brain is the fattiest organ you have and typically consists of at least 60% fat.
10. Human Brains Contain ~100 Billion Neurons
This amount is about the same as the total number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Synapses connect these neurons, and scientists often refer to this as a “neuron forest”.
11. Adult Brains Make New Neurons
While the majority of your brain’s neurons have been with you since birth, and age can cause them to deteriorate, your brain is still fully capable of creating new neurons through the process of neurogenesis.
12. Most Brain Cells Aren't Neurons
Though “neurons” may be what you first think of when you hear the term “brain cells”, the majority of your brain is made up of glial cells. These cells help support and protect your brain’s neurons while also optimizing the communication between them.
13. Your Brain Has More Cell Types Than Any Body Tissue
Many of our organs and muscles are composed of cells of the same type. Brains, however, are made of a wide range of complicated cells that interconnect in extraordinary ways.
14. Brains Can Rewire Themselves
Brains are incredibly unique in their ability to adapt and rewire themselves to function as optimally as possible. The brains of blind people can take the section dedicated to working with their eyes and rewire it to process sound information instead.
15. Brain Activity is as Unique as Fingerprints
According to the journal of Nature Neuroscience, people’s brain activity may be just as unique as a fingerprint, if not more so.
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16. Chemical Reactions Cause Headaches
Headaches aren’t your brain hurting- remember, they can’t feel pain. Headaches occur due to reactions in nerves, blood vessels, muscles in your head and neck, or some combination of each. Changes in serotonin or estrogen levels can also cause them.
17. A Brain Freeze is a Warning Sign
When your brain senses a drop in temperature, it increases blood pressure in an attempt to keep you from freezing to death.
18. Exercise Helps Your Body and Brain
Mental stimulation comes with exercising, but it also helps you maintain a healthier cardiovascular system. A healthy cardiovascular system means better plumbing for your brain.
19. Brain Scans “Light Up” When You’re In Love
MRI scans have demonstrated that people who are “in love” show more significant activity where the neurotransmitter dopamine is present.
20. Your Brain is Smaller Than The Brains of Your Ancestors
Paleoanthropological research has indicated human brains have shrunk over time, along with our average body size.
21. Your Brain Gets Smaller as You Age
Brains develop until you’re in your late 40s, and by mid-life, they will begin to shrink. This shrinkage doesn’t seem to impact intelligence, however.
22. Short Term Memory Lasts ~20-30 Seconds
Scientists found that the average short-term memory for numbers is about 7.3 seconds, and letters is 9.3 seconds.
23. When Awake, Your Brain Makes Enough Electricity to Power a Small Light Bulb
Stanford computer scientists have found that the billions of cells in the human brain produce more than enough electricity to turn on a small light bulb.
24. Reading Out Loud Requires Different Circuit Than Reading to Yourself
This difference is also true of listening to music and speaking. Your brain processes these different sensations in different ways.
25. The Brain's Visual Processing Areas are in The Very Back
Your eyes sit in the front of your skull; everyone knows that. But the area that controls visual processing is at the back of the brain.
26. Harder Working Brains Make Smaller Your Brain Waves
According to EEG brain scanning, neurons processing more information sync up in smaller, more complex patterns, causing smaller brain waves.
27. Your Brain’s Storage Capacity is Basically Unlimited
Your brain possesses limitless potential power, and space doesn’t get used up like when data is stored on your computer.
28. Almost Half the Brain can be Removed Without Altering Memory or Personality
The removal of half the brain is known as a hemispherectomy, and it helps treat seizure disorders. Cognition changes are common, but personality, memory, and humor tend to recover to be the same as before the surgery.
29. The Brain Waves of Musicians Can Synchronize
German scientists have discovered that the brain waves of musicians naturally became synchronized when they play together, even when playing different parts
30. Sleep Deprivation Kills Brain Cells
Beyond that, it can also lead to psychosis over long periods, along with impairment to judgment, cognition, and reaction time.
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