The human brain is one of the most important and complex organs in the human body. The human is superior functioning from other animals and other creations of nature. The human brain is one of the least explored areas in biology. But in the past few years, we have learned a lot about our brain and here are the top ten facts about the human brain.
1. Human Brain Is Getting Smaller:
Over the past 10-20,000, the human brain has gotten significantly smaller. The lost size is similar to the size of a tennis ball. According to studies, due to the mental workout, the cab drivers of London get while navigating the 25,000 streets of London, they have a significantly larger hippocampus area, known as the “memory center”, in their brain. One of the reasons for the human brain’s shrinking is our modern lifestyle where chronic stress and depression is a very common issue. Which causes measurable brain shrinkage. The modern diet is another reason for the shrinking brain. It lacks omega-3 essential fatty acids, which can cause brain shrinkage similar to two years of structural brain aging. Even the average IQ level has gone down since the Victorian era. It has gone down 1.6 points per decade for a total of 13.35 points.
While modern technology has forced most of us to be immense multitaskers, our brain can not actually learn two things at once. What it does is quickly going back and forth between tasks. But this results in decreasing our attention span, strength to learn, short-term memory, and overall mental performance. Millennials are actually said to be more forgetful than baby boomers. The attention span is also getting shorter, having the average attention span of 12 seconds in 2000, to currently having the attention span of only 8 seconds. While an average goldfish has an attention span of 9-second.
2. The Human Brain Consumes More Energy Than The Other Body Parts:
A human brain weighs about 2% of the body’s total weight but it uses 20% of the total energy and oxygen that we intake. 73% of our brain is water and only 2% dehydration will affect our brain’s attention, memory, and other cognitive abilities. And if we sweat for ninety minutes continuously it can temporarily shrink our brain as much as one year of aging does.
The weight of our brain is about three pounds and sixty percent of the dry weight is fat. This makes the human brain the fattiest organ of the body. Cholesterol is an essential part of every brain cell and the brain holds Twenty-five percent of the body’s total cholesterol. If the brain doesn’t contain enough amount of cholesterol, they will die. Our brain contains an estimated 86 billion brain cells. Each neuron in our brain can make as many as tens of thousands of synaptic contacts with other neurons and can also transmit 1,000 nerve impulses per second. In the human brain, a single tissue that is about the size of a grain of sand includes 100,000 neurons and 1 billion synapses, communicating with each other.
3. Our Brain Is Full Of Thoughts:
Our brain is truly a “random thought generator” as it has been called before. According to the experts, an average human brain generates up to 50,000 thoughts in a day. In our brain, 750-1,000 milliliters of blood flow per minute. Also, our brain is able to process an image that your eyes have seen in less time than it takes us to blink, only 13 milliseconds.
As we know size doesn’t really matter when it comes to the brain. We also know that men’s have a 10% larger brain than women but the hippocampus part of the brain which is heavily associated with memory is larger in women. Fun fact, Albert Einstein’s brain weighed 2.71 pounds which lesser than the average of 3 pounds. Although, he had a greater neuron density in his brain than average. Though in comparison to our body weight, we have the largest brains, the biggest brains belong to sperm whales with 17-pound brains. Neanderthal who lived in Eurasia from circa 400,000 until 40,000 years ago had 10% larger brains than Homo sapiens.
4. Our Brain Cells Eats Themselves:
Having a low-fat diet can cause our brain to eat itself since brain cells cannibalize themselves as a last-ditch source of energy during starvation. The electromagnetic frequencies that are ejected by our cell phone and other electronic devices can leave a negative impact on over 140 proteins in our brain. When we rely on GPS to navigate, it perishes our natural sense of direction. This is a skill that took thousands of years to develop for our ancestors. When we will no longer use the areas of the brain involved that helps with navigation, those neural connections will fade away through a method known as synaptic pruning. Though human brains start to slow down at the age of 24 but different cognitional skills at different ages. At any age, the human brain is likely to get better at something and worse at others. Also, during drinking alcohol, our brain is incapable of forming memories instead of forgetting. Another fact is, that people with exceptional memory aren’t born that way, they just simply developed the skills by applying the best memory techniques.
5. We Don’t Use Only 10% Of Our Brain:
There are a lot of myths about our brain. One of them is that we only use 10% of our brain. In reality, most of the time we use most of our brain, even during sleeping. Also, there is nothing as a left-brain or right-brain personality/skill type. Consuming an extreme amount of alcohol would not kill your brain cells but it would damage the connective tissue at the end of neurons. Although a specific type of music can improve our memory and concentration, listening to Mozart doesn’t do anything for our brain.
We don’t have 10,000 miles of blood vessels in our brains either, it is actually more like 400 miles. If you have high cholesterol, it won’t affect your brain negatively, it would actually reduce your risk of dementia. Our brain is able to change across our lifetime because of the property known as brain plasticity. It would continue to form new brain cells by neurogenesis.
6. The Form Of The Human Brain:
Our brain tissues are not dense, they are actually fragile, soft and squishy like gelatin. Every day, our brain generates a half cup of fluid that floats in the cerebrospinal fluid, acting as a shock absorber to keep the brain from being crushed by its own weight. Our brain is as unique as our fingerprints as it also has a pattern of connectivity. Although it feels like that headache starts in our brain but is actually caused by sensations from nearby skin, joints, sinuses, blood vessels or muscles. Because our brain has no pain receptors, it can’t feel any pain, although the pain is processed by our brain. Obviously, brain freeze doesn’t actually freeze our brain cells, it is actually our brain recognizing a drop in temperature. Introverts and extroverts have a slight difference in their brain. MRIs show extroverts have the dopamine reward network more active in their brains while introverts have more grey matter in their brain. When we read as long as the first and last letters are in the right spot, our brain can rearrange the letters to form words as fast as we can read, so the order of letters doesn’t really matter.
7. All Brain Cells Of The Human Brain Are Not The Same:
In the human brain contains as many as 10,000 particular types of neurons. Our brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and because of that even five minutes without any oxygen supply could result in the death of brain cells and lead to severe brain damage. Also, babies have big heads because of their rapidly growing brains. A two-year-old kid’s brain is 80% of adult size. Our brains are not fully formed until we reach the age of 25. The information in our brains travels up to an impressive 268 miles per hour which are faster than Formula 1 race cars. Our brain also generates about 12-25 watts of electricity which is enough to power a low-wattage LED light.
8. Our Brain Is Superior To A Computer:
The human brain is far more superior to any powerful computer built to date. Our brain has an unlimited storage capacity. According to recent studies, our brain’s memory capacity is about a quadrillion, the same amount the entire internet will need to be stored. Our brain processes 1,016 data per second. According to scientists, our brain is 30 times more powerful one of the world’s fastest supercomputers, IBM Sequoia.
9. Apple Users Are Different Than Android Users:
MRIs have revealed that people who use Apple devices are really different than Android users. In our brain, there is a part that gets activated by religious imagery in people of faith, called the “god spot.” Apple devices stimulate the same part of their user’s brain. It is also believed by some scientist that zombies could actually be created. If a mutated virus or parasites attack the human brain and spread rapidly, it can cause a Zombie Apocalypse. We also have a second brain in our intestine that contains about 100 million neurons.
10. Memories Change Over Time:
Emotions, motivation, cues, context, and frequency of use have an effect on our memories and how perfectly we remember something. It is said, that an estimated 70% of our thoughts are negative. Throughout our life of all the decision we make, 95% of them take place in our subconscious mind. The human brain craves for mental stimulation.
The people who have Synesthesia might be able to taste words or smell sounds or see numbers in colors. Because of Synesthesia, stimulation of one sense automatically evokes a perception of another sense in that person’s brain. Though it is still unknown why exactly it happens, theories suggest that these people have hyper-connectivity between sensory areas in their brain.