The human brain is an interesting organ not only for those who study it specifically but for the rest of us too. We’ve heard lots of facts concerning the brain and its well-being since childhood. Some of these can be fascinating, whereas, other can be disturbing. Here is a collection of some interesting brain facts for you:
-Cognitive function does not have to decline with age
Psychology Today reveals that your brain power and intelligence does not have to decline as you climb the age ladder. Typically, it is said that aging takes a toll on your cognition or brain performance.
However, if you succeed it at leading a socially, mentally, and physically healthy life, then there are increased chances of improved cognition with age. In fact, you can become more intelligent as you age.
-You can fight age-related brain power decline by challenging your brain
Puzzles and other ways that challenge your brain can stimulate it. Your brain cells fire and the communicative channels in the brain also strengthen. In doing so, the central processing unit of the body remains active and sharp. Have a look at more ways to boost your brain power:
- Reading, watching movies, following conversations, and so on
- Reasoning different choice and individual beliefs
- Learning new information
- Engaging in mentally challenging tasks throughout your life
An adult human brain weighs about 3 pounds. 75% of this is made up of water. This simply means that even the slightest bit of dehydration can result in a negative impact on the brain functions.
Plus, the largest brain belongs to the sperm whale. It weighs approximately 20 pounds.
Your brain contains about 100 billion neurons.
–You use all of your brain power
It’s only a myth that you use 10% of your brain. In fact, you use your entire brain including 10% of it while you fetch zzz. This is how your basic body functions are in full swing when you are asleep. It is also probably why we feel slightly awake or conscious when we’re not in a state of deep sleep.
–Dreams are proof that your brain is functioning at night
Your dreams are a combo of psychological factors, imagination, and neurological factors. They show that your brain is working even when you are in the arms of Morpheus.
–The brain’s hemispheres
The brain is divided into two hemispheres, right and left. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the brain and vice versa. In the first three years of your life, you use the right brain more than the left side of the brain.
During 3-6 years of growth, the left side of the brain starts dominating over the right side. By 6 years, the left hemisphere takes over the right hemisphere of the brain and remains dominant throughout the life.
-Your brain is immune to pain
The brain does not feel pain. It interprets pain and sends signals to the relevant part of the body. However, it does not feel anything itself.
A brain freeze happens when you drink or eat something that is cold. It chills the arteries and blood vessels in the back of your throat including the one that carry blood to the brain. These blood vessels constrict when they are cold and open back when they have warmed again. This causes pain in your forehead.
-The brain size: growth and shrinkage
Your brain grows three times its original size in the first year of your life. It continues growth until you are 18. After middle age, the brain starts to shrink. It gets smaller as you grow older.
–Our lifestyle hurts the brain
Numerous lifestyle factors can lead to damage to the brain. For instance, the Standard American Diet (SAD) is packed with excessive sugar, salt, processed foods, and bad fats. Other factors that hurt the brain include:
- Environmental factors
- Negative thinking patterns
–Alcohol affects your memory
In the short run, alcohol consumption leads to blurred vision, an unsteady walk, slurred speech, and more. All these effects disappear as your recover or the drink wears off. However, in the long haul, excess alcohol consumption can permanently damage the brain without any chance of reversal. It usually culminates in reduced cognitive functioning and memory loss.
–The brain gives a quick response
The brain gives a response to something and generates an action in about 1/10,000th of a second.
-Your brain is greedy for oxygen
The brain cannot tolerate even the slightest cut in the oxygen or nutrients. A decline in these can negatively affect the brain. For instance, a drop in oxygen supply to the brain in the event of a stroke increases the risk of developing vascular dementia. In fact, it is the leading cause of this type of dementia.
Besides, the brain takes up about 3% of your body weight. However, it gets 30% of the blood that is pumped by your heart. Bennet Omalu, MD, forensic pathologist, neuropathologist, epidemiologist, clinical professor at University of California, Davis, adds to this. Omalu says, “The brain is like a spoiled and demanding child, but yet it is extremely smart, and efficient,”
–Brain waves are active when you’re dreaming
Your brain is actually very active during your sleep. In fact, it is doing a lot more than when you are thinking, talking, eating, and walking. Brandon Brock, MSN, BSN, staff clinician at Cerebrum Health Centers elaborates, “When awake, people utilize alpha and beta waves, which gives us day wakefulness… Sleep, however, especially in the initial stages, uses Theta activity, which is greater in amplitude than Beta.”
-A baby’s brain takes up 50% of his glucose
A baby’s brain uses up nearly 50% of the total glucose supply. This might be one of the reasons why babies sleep so much.
–Exercise is just as important for your brain as it is for your physical well-being
Research confirms that exercise is crucial for mental well-being. It delays age-induced cognitive decline. Plus, it can slash the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 30% or more. The key factor is that exercise carries more oxygen to the brain and encourages the release of hormones.
–At least, 70,000 thoughts pass through your brain daily
On average, humans experience about 70,000 thoughts every day. Laughing at a joke lights up the brain in five different regions, which is why laughing is considered healthy. On a side note, forgetting unnecessary things is good for the brain as it helps the nervous system maintain its plasticity.
–The more the weight, the smaller the brain
Obesity and the brain are also linked. Interestingly, as your physical size increases, your brain’s size decreases.
–Brains are rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Your brain is rich in omega-3s, which is why some people eat brains from cows and other animals.
-The brain uses 25% of the calories
Of all the calories that you consume, 25% of these go to the brain including toxins from junk food. The ideal diet for the brain includes 30% proteins and 70% of plant-based with healthy fats from sources such as coconut oil, butter, and olive oil.
During mummification, Egyptians removed the brain from the nose