10 AMAZING Facts About The BRAIN
The human brain, our proverbial font of knowledge, the capsule which contains everything we know. With all our brain does and remembers for us, have you ever considered about how much you know about your brain? Join us, as we venture into 10 unknown facts about your brain!
It's an all or nothing sort of deal.
We've all heard it, we know how the adage goes, you are either left brained and very logical, or you are right sided and prosper with creativity. Well, according to Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and a plethora of other minds from the scientific community, this is simply not true, and a largely believed myth. The preference of which brain region you use more than others for certain functions is real, like speech does indeed emanate from the left side of the brain for right-handed people, but this does not imply that great writers or speakers use their left side of the brain more often than their right, or that one side is richer in neurons.
Fugget about it!
"Fuggestaboutit", may be more sound advice than you may have originally thought. With all the talk about memory, and retaining things, we hardly ever talk about forgetting, and how important it is to your brain, mind and body. Forgetting, as it turns out, may prove to be a pivotal key factor in mental health and hygiene, as removing any unnecessary info from your mind, helps the nervous system retain its plasticity. Researchers from the University of Illinois in Chicago, found that those who are able to forget trivial information seem to be better at problem solving and remembering key events, even while they're distracted. So in the immortalized words of Tony Soprano, "Fuggeraboutit".
That's just a tasteless comparison.
With the size and weight of your brain, you would figure it would have a tougher texture right? Well the fact of the matter is, the human brain has roughly the same consistency as tofu, or gelatin. When the UCSD assistant professor of cognitive science, Bradley Voytek, Ph.D. was asked what it was like to hold a human brain, he replied with; "Heavier than I expected" and that "Without preservation and chemical hardening you couldn't pick a brain up. Couldn't dissect it." The lack of viscosity of the brain is so prominent that if it wasn't for our skulls, the several layers of the meninges, and the fluid between them, something as simple as a banging your head could cause some serious damage.
Do you see what I see?
As powerful and essential our brain may be, it is still far from being infallible. Take for instance, visual and optical illusions. These go to show that our minds tend to make speculations and assumptions about what is perceived. Many curious minds have questioned why this happens, and we have found through various studies, that this process can tell us how we process space, time to our personal experiences and consciousness. The Ebbinghaus illusion gives us an example of how our brains make judgements based from location and size of objects. Another illusion, called the Ponzo illusion, proves that context is core to depth perception. Simply put, reality is subjective, each and every individual person perceives things in different ways, if only just slightly.
Now here's an idea!
Remember those old cartoons, the ones where a light bulb shines above the character when they get an idea? Well, turns out that it may have a little bit of scientific inspiration after all. Each and every neuron located within your brain possesses the ability to assemble charges which surge across their cell membranes, resulting in, a small yet important jolt of voltage; with the typical neuron containing a resting voltage of roughly 70 millivolts, or .07 volts. Surely this number seems small, but consider the average human brain contains roughly 80-100 billion neurons; meaning, your brain generates roughly 12 to 25 total watts of electricity, enough to power and run a dim light bulb. The main source for all that energy?Glucose.
Don't hold your breathe!
Even though your brain is roughly 2% of your total body weight, it consumes close to 20% of your total energy and oxygen that flows through your body; making it the largest single organ usage of your energy. This energy is used for basic functions such as yawning and more technical uses like fueling electrical impulses. Studies from the National Academy of Sciences indicate that, though 2/3 of the brain's energy is used for helping your neurons and nerve cells to fire signals, the remaining 1/3 is believed for cell-health and maintenance, referred to as "housekeeping power". It is important for keeping your brain tissue alive and healthy and many other important biological processes in your brain. So breathe deep, and keep that brain healthy... after all, it is possible to lose consciousness after just 7-9 seconds of oxygen deprivation to your brain.
We've all heard about how humans only use 10% of our brains right? I mean, just think of what we could do if we could use more of it! Hollywood has made movie after movie about this, such as the new sci-fi thriller, Lucy. Well, that old adage is just simply not true, for each and every part of the brain has known functions. It also turns out, that most of the brain is active most of the time, and evidence goes even further to suggest that at any given moment, up to 16% of our brain cells are active. Although true, that any given moment all of the brain regions aren't firing off concurrently, research derived from imaging technology shows that, like the muscles of your body, there is continuous activity throughout a 24-hour period, even during sleep; sections such as the frontal cortex and somatosensory areas are usually always active.
All brains "matter".
Though most people know the human brain consists of the pinkish-grey colored tissue known as grey matter, or substantia grisea, in which 40% of your brain is made from. Most people, however, are unaware that it's also made from white matter, or substantia Alba, which composes the remaining 60%. White matter is made from axons and dendrites, creating the network that neurons use to send out their signals after they have gathered and formed together to make up the grey matter, along with some capillaries, glial cells, and neuropil.
You've got some nerve... but your brain sure doesn't!
Amazingly enough, your brain is the only organ you possess that doesn't have nerves of its own, despite the fact that it's your command center for the central nervous system; in which 86 main nerves branch from. Or simply, your brain cannot feel a bit of pain, as pain receptors are nothing more than nerves themselves. The Meninges and periosteum, as well as the scalp, all have pain receptors. As such, headaches are caused from the other locations throughout your head, commonly from the jawline, sinus cavities, and neck.
Too much food for thought.
Ever been called a fathead before? Well, perhaps you shouldn't be upset by the truth! What we mean by that is, the average weight of a human brain is 3 pounds or 1.35 kilograms, or about 1% to 3% of your body weight, making it the second heaviest of your internal organs, only getting beaten out by the liver. Of that weight, 60% of that is fat, making it also the organ with the highest concentration of fat, found in a healthy human body. This isn't as bad a thing as it sounds, and no, dieting and exercise won't slim it down. In recent years, it has gone to show that fatty acids are among some of the most important molecules that determine your brain's ability to perform. The fats of your brain also creates all of the cell membranes in your body; these "good fats" are known as lipids, and our bodies don't manufacture these fats, they come from the foods we eat. A couple good choices to increase this lipids is to eat lots of raw almonds and avocados.