Have you ever taken the time to think about your brain? What is it made of? How does it work and does it ever stop working? The brain is a very complex organ that acts as the command center for the central nervous system of the human body. It contains approximately 86 billion neurons (nerve cells) and billions of axons and dendrites (nerve fibers) that connect to trillions of synapses (connections), which in turn, makes the body function. This means that the human brain has more connections than stars in the universe. These connections help the brain to receive input from the body’s sensory organs, which it then translates and sends out to the body’s muscles.
There are many facts about the human brain that one might consider to be interesting. Take, for instance, that it is the largest, relative to body size, of any other vertebrates on this planet. Here is a small compilation of 10 facts that are likely to blow your mind.
The Human Brain
- Size does not matter: The average human brain weighs a whopping 3.3 pounds. Contrary to common belief, size does not matter when it relates to intelligence. In fact, Albert Einstein’s brain weighed less than average at just 2.7 pounds.
- It is impossible to tickle yourself: It is impossible to tickle yourself due to the function of the cerebellum, which is responsible for your body’s physical movement. The function of this portion of our minds is capable of predicting sensation and preventing response.
- You have a fat brain: The brain of the human body is the fattiest of all organs in the body. It consists of at least 60 percent fat.
- Yawning wakes up your brain: We yawn because we are tired and want to go to sleep, right? That is what most have grown up believing, but the actual purpose of a yawn is to send more oxygen to the brain. When the brain is low on oxygen, we instinctively yawn, which delivers more oxygen to the brain. This, in turn, cools it down and thus wakes it up. The reason we yawn when someone else does is because the ‘mirror neurons’ in our brain are functioning. Those who do not, likely have damage to this area and will likely experience difficulty communicating and socializing with others.
- What is in a grain of sand: A piece of brain tissue the same size as a grain of sand, contains 1 billion synapses and 100,000 neurons that are “talking” to each other.
- 2 year olds are more active then you might think: Of course you probably associated a two year old with a tiny ball of energy, but did you know that their tiny brains actually consume twice as much energy as an adult?
- As we age: From birth, the brain develops from back to front. As it begins to degenerate in our elder years, the opposite phenomenon occurs.
- We do not “feel” pain in our brain: The brain has no pain receptors. This means that you cannot actually feel pain. Although, it does work in tandem with your spinal cord which allows it to detect and process pain, but you cannot actually feel if someone were to be poking at it. That is why brain surgery can be done while the patient is awake.
- You use all of your brain: A popular rumor says that we only use 10 percent of our brain. This is far from the truth. In fact, there is not a single part that does not have a specific function.
- The human brain is the only object on this planet that has the ability to contemplate itself: Think about that one for a while.
Lewis, T. (2015, March 26). “Human Brain: Facts and Anatomy.” Live Science (website). Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/29365-human-brain.html. Accessed on January 13, 2016.
Lyle, T. “15 Things You Probably Did Not Know About Your Brain.” Lifehack (website). Retrieved from http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/15-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-your-brain.html. Accessed on January 13, 2016.
Omes, S. (2007, July 7). “17 Things You Did Not Know About…Your Brain.” Discovery Magazine (website). Retrieved from http://discovermagazine.com/2007/brain/if-i-only-had-a-brain. Accessed on January 13, 2016.
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