The human brain is one of the most astounding, intricate and fascinating parts of the human body. It’s to us what the motherboard is to a computer. The main center that provides every connection in your body and helps you function. The most important organ in our body that controls us, interprets information, stores it and regulates our emotions.
And yet, it only weighs about 3 pounds and takes up a very small part of our head.
However, oddly enough there are still a lot of things that the average person does not know about the brain. Here are some interesting and mind-blowing facts about your brain and its capabilities:
1. THE BRAIN CANNOT FEEL PAIN
You probably know this, because I believe that we’ve all seen the scene where Dr. Hannibal Lecter cuts a slice of his hostage’s brain and makes a delicious lovely meal, while the man whose brain is being cut doesn’t feel a thing.
Well, it’s true. Even though the brain is covered in tissues and blood vessels that have pain receptors, the brain itself does not feel pain.
2. WE DO USE MOST OF OUR BRAIN, MOST OF THE TIME
10% percent of the brain myth is just an urban legend. But what’s even scarier is the fact that almost two/thirds of the population believe in that.
According to Brett Wingeier neuroscientist, Ph.D. and engineer, “This misconception came about because the brain is so adaptable that sometimes minor damage causes only subtle problems”.
The truth is, most of our brain is active most of the time. Even when we think that we are resting, our brain is still working hard.
3. BRAINS MAKE NEW NEURONS
Neurogenesis is the creation of new neuronal cells. But, while this process was thought to occur only in our developing stages, recent research has found that the birth of new neuron cells does not stop after a certain age. In fact, the brain continues creating neurons throughout the whole life.
4. PHYSICAL EXERCISE IS ALSO BENEFICIAL FOR YOUR BRAIN
Researches have shown that exercising is not only good for our physical health, but it is also very beneficial to our mental health. A cohort study published in the American Journey of Psychiatry showed that exercise reduces the possibility of depression. On the other side, another research has also shown that regular exercise improves memory by stimulating the growth of new blood vessels and maintains or mental health as we age.
5. BRAIN SCANS LIGHT UP WHEN YOU ARE IN LOVE
Being in love is not just an emotional process, and brain scans are here to prove that. When people are madly in love, our brains produce the powerful hormones dopamine, oxytocin and vasopressin. A functional MRI brain scan can show activity and light up whenever these hormones are present.
6. EACH BRAIN ACTIVITY IS UNIQUE AS THE SKIN ON YOUR FINGERTIPS
Don’t believe it? Recent research published in the Nature Neuroscience suggests that our brain activity may be just as unique as our own fingerprints. To come to this conclusion, the researchers used functional MRI scans to create profiles of the brain activity of more than 100 people.
According to the team “This could have implications for how scanning brains might be used in the future to one day help individualize care for each unique person.”
7. FORGETFULNESS IS A TOOL OF THE BRAIN
Be grateful that you don’t remember everything. This is a big sign that your brain is working the way it should. In order to prevent confusion and decrease the cognitive load inside our minds, the brain chooses which memory is important to keep and which memory is simply irrelevant and takes up precious space that could be used for more important information.
8. OUR BRAINS ARE THE FATTEST ORGANS IN OUR BODIES
When you put it like that, we are all just a bunch of fatheads. But, unlike the fat stored in our body, the fat in our brains has a different purpose. It is known to be packed with a substance called myelin. Myelin is an electrical insulator that protects our nerves from each other. In addition to that, the myelin also serves as a messenger that sends signals between cells.
9. SLEEP DEPRIVATION KILL YOUR BRAIN CELLS
It seems like there is a good reason why I can’t function in the morning when I’ve only gotten a few hours of sleep. Get your beauty sleep people! Don’t listen to others when they say that sleep is for the weak.
In order to refresh memory, function properly and react normally, both our brain and body require a certain amount of uninterrupted rest. According to experts, sleep deprivation is the destroyer of brain cells, which eventually leads to harmful mental conditions such as psychosis.
10. THE HUMAN BRAIN IS GREEDY
Even though our brains take up a very small part of our heads and weigh about 3 pounds, they receive about 30% of the blood that our hearts pump. Wow, insane, right? Well, that only shows how superior our brains in comparison to every other organ inside our bodies.
Bennet Omalu, an epidemiologist, a forensic pathologist, neuropathologist and clinical professor at the University of California explains “The brain is like a spoiled and demanding child, but yet it is extremely smart and efficient. It takes about 1/10,000th of a second for the brain to respond to something and generate action.”