- 41 Fascinating Facts About Your Amazing Brain
- All About Your Brain Anatomy and Structure
- How Your Brain Works and Communicates
- Shaping Perception and Thought in the Brain
- Making Memories
- From Facts to Action
- 53 Interesting Facts About The Brain
- About: multi-tasking, human attention span, unlimited storage space, dreams
- Facts about: brain’s relation with good physical health, decision making, yawning, negative effects of stress on the brain, benefits of reading aloud and talking to young children
- 70 Brain Facts That Will Blow Your Mind!
- The Developing Brain
- How the Brain Functions
- Ooooh, The Way You Make Me Feel
- Mind Over “Matter“
- Brainy Facts
- Your Brain and Sleep
- We Put the Neuro in Neuroscience
- Historical Moments in the Brain Waves of History
41 Fascinating Facts About Your Amazing Brain
Your brain is a mystery only it can solve. Unraveling the riddle of how your body’s command center works—perception, the formation of thoughts, memory creation, and more—might seem daunting, headache-inducing work.
But your brain is up to the task. Every second of the day it takes in so much information. Then it links disparate parts to make a whole thought, decision, memory, or picture of your world. Your brain is the ultimate processing unit, taking facts—from senses, chemical messages, or other stimuli—and spitting out a conclusion.
So, if you’re going to demystify your brain, it’s probably best to lay out the facts first. And your amazing brain will do the rest of the work putting the puzzle together.
Here are 41 facts about brain anatomy, perception, thoughts, memory, and healthy habits for your brain:
All About Your Brain Anatomy and Structure
- Your brain, if you’re an adult, is about three pounds (1.4 kilograms) of firm-jelly-textured human computing power. And it’s surprisingly fatty—about 60 percent of the brain is fat.
- All your thinking, deciding, and processing drains about 20 percent of the total energy, oxygen, and blood in your body.
So much power and so many resources for about two percent of your total weight. And delivering all that blood, oxygen, and nutrients requires almost 100,000 miles of blood vessels to be packed into your skull.
- Your brain did a lot of growing in your first year of life—when it tripled in size. But life shrinks your brain.
After you hit middle age, your brain decreases in physical size as time passes.
- A bigger brain doesn’t mean anything. Physical size hasn’t been found to have any significant correlation with higher intelligence. In general, research has only found brain size to be responsible for around 10 percent of intelligence variability.
- You do have a left and right brain. That’s because it’s divided into two almost symmetrical—but not identical—hemispheres connected by the corpus callosum (a nerve bundle).
- Your brain is kind of cross-wired. The left side controls muscles on your body’s right side.
The right side of your brain is responsible for pulling the strings on the muscles of your left side. It sounds confusing, but your brain has it figured out.
- The whole brain chips in for creativity and other mental tasks. So, artistic people aren’t really relying more on their right brain. Analytical people aren’t more left brained.
Slight cognitive differences have been found in the hemispheres, but it’s not accurate to call yourself right brained, unless the left side has been removed.
- There are three major parts of the brain: the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brain stem.
- The cerebrum is the brain’s biggest part, accounting for 85 percent of its weight.
It needs that size to handle a lot of survival tasks (movement, senses, temperature, and judgment). And the cerebrum also tackles higher-order operations—problem solving, reasoning, emotions, and learning.
- You can thank (or blame) your cerebellum for your posture and balance. And your brain stem handles a lot of processes you do without thinking.
But they keep you alive—breathing and keeping your heart beating. The brain stem also shuttles information from your sensory organs, helps you swallow, and cough.
- Science also splits the brain up into four lobes: the frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal lobes. Each lobe handles specific tasks.
The frontal lobe tackles thinking tasks, as well as movement and short-term memory. Sensory information on touch and taste is processed in your parietal lobe. Your occipital lobe is all about processing and storing the information your eyes take in. The temporal lobe works on memory storage, smell, taste, and sound.
- That’s a lot information already.
Does your head hurt? If it does, you can bet it isn’t actually your brain. It interprets signals from around the body, but feels no pain itself. You can even trace brain freeze to the blood vessels in your throat constricting from cold, not your actual brain.
How Your Brain Works and Communicates
- You use more than 10 percent of your brain. In fact, your whole brain is working most of the time. It has to. That’s the only way your complex body runs smoothly and you stay safe.
- The human brain is far better than the best computer ever created. It can handle a lot of information every second, and process it all faster than a computer.
And that means A LOT of information—up to 10 to the 16th power every second.
- All that processing means information travels fast around your brain. Although the speed of information varies, it’s estimated info can ping around the brain at about 250 miles per hour (402 kilometers per hour).
- What makes all this speed and computing possible? Neurons.
There are about one hundred billion—a one followed by 11 zeroes—of these nerve cells in your brain. They’re able to communicate with other neurons via chemical or electrical signals.
- Neurons are cells, but they have unique properties that set them apart from your other cells. And these physical differences help them do their job.
Neurons have special branches on one end called dendrites and axons on the other. The dendrites receive information, while the axon on the other end sends the information to the next neuron.
- Synapses are the spaces between neurons where they come very, very close to touching in order to relay information.
When you have a new thought or remember something, new synaptic connections are created.
- The chemical messengers of the brain are called neurotransmitters. That makes sense because your body makes these chemicals to literally transmit messages between neurons. You’ve probably heard of a few neurotransmitters adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin.
- Your brain isn’t the same as anyone else’s. Your experiences—including what happens to you and what you learn—wire your brain in a unique way. And that wiring continues to develop as you learn and experience more.
- The mechanics of the working brain are amazing. It allows you to do so many higher-order tasks (processes not tied to survival).
But multitasking is still impossible. When someone says they’re multitasking, they’re alternating between higher-order tasks. They may do the switching quickly, but the tasks aren’t happening simultaneously.
- Your brain gets bored easily. Research has found that every 10 minutes you need something that sparks you emotionally to hit the reset button on your attention.
If that 10-minute number sounds long, it’s because the human attention span (how long you can pay attention to a single thing) continues to shrink. It’s down to an average of eight seconds—down four seconds in just 15 years.
- Even if your brain gets bored, it never loses focus on survival. It’s your body’s command center, so survival is always the first priority.
That means your brain constantly makes decisions about safety and solves problems to keep you safe. In nature, those fight-or-flight decisions may actually be lifesaving. But in modern life, the constant barrage of non-dangerous, but stressful situations trick your brain into survival mode. This can create unhealthy levels of stress.
- Your whole brain doesn’t sleep—not fully, at least. And your dreams are proof. Science doesn’t even know everything about dreams. But they’re thought to be a function of imagination, psychology, and neurology mixing together.
Shaping Perception and Thought in the Brain
- In a dream, you might perceive a fantastical environment or adventure. It’s your brain’s job to set your perception. It uses sensory data to paint a complete picture of your world. Perception isn’t as simple as collating sensory data, though. It’s more complex.
- Those brain-sensory complexities can create conditions synesthesia.
This is when your senses converge to layer a perception on one sense. A common example is when people see colors when they hear music.
- The reason perception can vary has everything to do with the brain’s interaction with sensory information. Take hearing as an example. Your ears collect sound waves.
But your experience of hearing and listening is shaped in the brain. So, that’s why two people can have the same sound waves enter their ears, but think they hear something different. with the Laurel vs.
Yanny viral sensation of 2018, if there’s any ambiguity, your brain uses your experiences to flesh out the phrasing to give you a perception of the sound. And that can be different for people.
- Brain researchers can watch you think. That’s because physically, thoughts show up in imaging as many neurons firing.
There are still a lot of mysteries about how thoughts are formed and what processes are responsible, though. At a basic level, your brain connects different information to form a new mixture called a thought.
- You should be impressed by the brain’s ability to perceive the world and generate thoughts. But memory is just as amazing. It’s estimated your brain can store 2,500,000 gigabytes of information.
- You have two basic types of memory: short-term and—you probably guessed it—long-term memory.
- There’s a reason your short-term memory is also referred to as working memory. For the most part, it operates by allowing you to remember information long enough for you to use it. That’s why you can remember a phone number to dial it, but might forget it right after the call ends.
- Dredging up memories isn’t exactly pulling a file from a folder. Your brain has to recreate and reimagine that memory. And it’s not a perfect copy of the original.
- The ability to look up any of the information in the world is great for everything except your memory. Your brain isn’t lazy, per se.
But it’s very busy and prioritizes tasks that absolutely need to be done. So, if it knows you can look something up again, your brain may not store that tidbit of information.
- Pictures are powerful tools for memory. Studies have shown people retain 65 percent more information when images are involved.
- Science has a name for wisdom—all the situations and information you’ve experienced and stored. Scientists call it cognitive template.
- Want to help yourself remember information? Try these tips. Repetition helps. Repeating information really works. So does adding more context.
That means stringing a few bits of information about a person with their name to help you remember it better. These associations strengthen memory. You can also try to pour information into your brain at a slower rate. A flood of information just won’t sink in, as well.
From Facts to Action
Now that you know a little bit more about your body’s command center, take care of it. You don’t need the knowledge of a neuroscientist to appreciate and pamper for your brain.
Do the things it s—sleeping, learning, exercising—and avoid stress and behaviors that might harm it. And don’t forget to feed your brain the nutrients it needs by eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, and good fats. Your brain is hungry for healthy foods, and knowledge. Continue to feed it both so it can stay happy and healthy.
53 Interesting Facts About The Brain
Last updated on July 6th, 2021
The brain is the most complex part of the human body. It is responsible for intelligence, interpretation of senses, controlling of behavior and initiation of body movements.
The brain is enclosed in hard skull with protective fluids.
With these interesting facts, let’s learn more about its: size, weight, cholesterol content, number of cells; multi-tasking, attention span, dreams, physical health, decision making, diseases and more.
1. The size of a typical brain is almost 2% of a body’s weight but is uses 20% of the body’s energy and oxygen intake. Now, when you use your brain much, be cautious, you are actually burning a lot of calories, indeed. Even at rest, it is estimated to use one-fifth of a calorie.
2. 73% of the brain is filled with water. If it gets dehydrated by anything more than 2% of it, the person may suffer loss in attention, memory and cognitive skills.
3. The human brain is the fattiest organ in the body. It contains 60% fat its total weight of 3 pounds.
4. Did you know that of all the cholesterol present in the human body, 25% is available in the brain? And it is also vital for brains cells.
5. And the number of brains cells is close to 100 billion, according to some estimate.
6. If you starve your brain for oxygen for five minutes, the brain may get damaged.
7. Brain grows rapidly in babies. A two year old baby will have an 80% fully grown brain. Remember, this is the time you need to pay attention to your babies to help them develop good habits and behaviors.
8. As per an estimate, information in the brain moves at a speed of 260 miles per hour.
Amazing Facts About The Brain: Image Source
9. Interestingly, the largest brains are those of sperm whales, weighing about 8 kg (18 lb).
10. During the course of evolution of human beings, our brain is getting smaller and has shrunk in size similar to that of a tennis ball. Though, this is estimated to have happened over a period of 10-20,000 years.
About: multi-tasking, human attention span, unlimited storage space, dreams
11. Multi-tasking is bad for performance. Multi-tasking makes you brain toggle back and forth between several tasks. This causes drop in attention span, performance, learning and short-term memory.
12. The attention spans of human brain are getting shorter. We have lost almost four seconds of our attention span in the past 15 years. This means we cannot concentrate on a thing for more than 8 seconds on an average.
13. Your brain also has the ability to eat itself in case of lack of energy. To ward off starvation, brain cells can eat other brain cells.
14. Human brain has amazing potential to store a vast amount of energy. It does not get exhausted a computer disk or RAM.
15. Brain is used while sleeping also. It is active all the time.
16. Frequent flying causes headaches. Yes, a study reveals that almost 6% of the people who get headaches were affected by flying.
17. When you are laughing, five areas in your brain are active.
18. Interested in seeing a collection of brains, visit Harvard. There are 7000 brains preserved for research purposes.
19. Everyone dreams during the night time. And the average is 4-7 dreams per night.
20. Insulin while regulating blood sugar in the human body is also responsible for better memory.
Facts about: brain’s relation with good physical health, decision making, yawning, negative effects of stress on the brain, benefits of reading aloud and talking to young children
21. It is all about your mental strength. And you can ever stay healthy and fit with a positive attitude and good mental health. Studies have revealed a connection between physical illness and poor mental health.
22. Women take longer to make decision compared to men.
23. Brain also has the ability to read someone’s face. You could read someone’s emotions and feelings just by looking at their face. Your brain is actually supplying your with the information to judge someone else’ mood.
24. When you yawn, you supply more oxygen to the brain. Even reptiles, birds and mammals yawn. Neurotransmitters in the brain control this behavior.
25. Brain development is stimulated by reading aloud and talking to young children.
26. Brain structure and function are altered when an individual is exposed to excessive stress.
27. Talking to babies is helpful in developing their vocabulary, a study reveals.
28. Brain receives approximately 20% of the blood flowing the heart. This blood flow is important to support the metabolic activities of neurons.
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70 Brain Facts That Will Blow Your Mind!
The field of neuroscience is still very much in its infancy, but what we have been able to learn about the brain and its functions is groundbreaking! Much the spine, the brain plays a vital role in your overall health and well-being. How much do you know about the brain? Let’s take a dive into the brain waves of history to find out!
The Developing Brain
- The brain takes the longest of any organ to develop and goes through more changes than any other organ.
- Neurons develop at the rate of 250,000 neurons per minute during early pregnancy.
- The first sense to develop while in utero is the sense of touch.
The lips and cheeks can experience touch at about 8 weeks and the rest of the body around 12 weeks.
- Reading aloud and talking often to a young child promotes brain development.
- Babies have big heads to hold rapidly growing brains. A 2-year-old’s brain is 80% of adult size.
- At birth, your brain was almost the same size as an adult brain and contained most of the brain cells for your whole life.
- The brain stops growing around the age 18.
- Brain information moves anywhere between 1 mph and an impressive 268 miles per hour. This is faster than Formula 1 race cars which top out at 240 mph.
- Humans have more brain cells at the age of two than at any other time of their lives.
- If brain cells were replaced, skin or liver cells, scientists hypothesize we would lose our memories.
How the Brain Functions
What do neurons use to talk to each other? A cellular phone.
- There are more than 100,000 chemical reactions happening in the human brain every second.
- Your brain uses 20% of the total oxygen in your body and 20% of the blood circulating in your body.
- The brain can live for 4 to 6 minutes without oxygen, and then it begins to die. No oxygen for 5 to 10 minutes will result in permanent brain damage.
- If your brain loses blood for 8 to 10 seconds, you will lose consciousness.
- While awake, your brain generates between 10 and 23 watts of power–or enough energy to power a light bulb.
- Excessive stress has shown to “alter brain cells, brain structure, and brain function.
- The average number of thoughts that humans are believed to experience each day is 70,000.
Ooooh, The Way You Make Me Feel
How the Brain Helps You “Experience”
- Scientists have discovered that men and women’s brains react differently to pain, which explains why they may perceive or discuss pain differently.
- A small area in the brain called the amygdala is responsible for your ability to read someone else’s face for clues to how they are feeling.
- Boredom is brought on by a lack of change of stimulation, is largely a function of perception, and is connected to the innate curiosity found in humans.
- You can’t tickle yourself because your brain distinguished between unexpected external touch and your own touch.
- There is a class of people known as supertasters who not only have more taste buds on the tongue but can detect some flavors that others cannot.
- The human brain can process information as fast as 268 miles/hr. Information travels to the brain at different speeds because neurons are built differently.
- Experts estimate that in a lifetime, a human brain may retain one quadrillion separate bits of information.
Mind Over “Matter“
What did the neuron say to the glial cell? “Thanks for the support!”
- Average human brain weight: 3lbs
- Albert Einstein’s brain weighed 2.71 pounds,10 percent smaller than the average; however, the neuron density of his brain was greater.
- The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain and makes up 85% of the brain’s weight! The cerebral cortex grows thicker as you learn to use it.
- The human skill weighs roughly 20lbs.
- The brain represents only 2% of the body weight but uses up to 20% of the body’s energy production. The brain is the most energy consuming part of the body.
- The heaviest known brain weighed 4.43lbs. The smallest known brain weighed 2.41lbs.
- The skull is only as thick as three coins one on top of the other.
Did you know…
- Eyeballs are a direct physical extension of the brain.
- There are no pain receptors in the brain, so the brain can feel no pain.
- About 750ml of blood pumps through your brain every minute.
- The surface area of the human brain is about 230-470 square inches (1,500-3,000 sq. cm). The average length of a spinal cord is about 19 inches (45 cm)
- Our brain is 73% water. It takes only 2% dehydration to affect your attention, memory, and other cognitive skills.
- The human brain consists of 60% fat, making it one of the fattiest organs in the body.
- Déjà vu (French for “already seen”) has never been fully explained, though some scientists believe that a neurological glitch causes an experience to be registered in the memory before reaching consciousness.
- The human brain has around 100,000 miles of blood vessels.
- Your brain is 60% white matter and 40% gray matter. The white matter is made up of dendrites and axons, which create the network by which neurons send their signals. The brain’s gray matter is made up of neurons, which gather and transmit signals.
- Men have 6.5 times more gray matter in the brain than women; however, women have about 10 times more white matter than men.
- Laughing at a joke is no simple task as it requires activity in five different areas of the brain.
- The sense of smell connects to the part of the brain that also controls emotions and memories. This is why smells often evoke strong memories.
- The word “brain” appears 66 times in the plays of William Shakespeare.
- One scientist believes we need creative language “to keep the brain alive.”
“You can often tell what someone is going to say before they finish their sentence” he says. “This represents a gradual deadening of the brain.”- Philip Davis, Professor at the University of Liverpool’s School of English
Your Brain and Sleep
What is a sleeping brain’s favorite rock band? REM.
- Humans grow faster at night than they do during the day because a small part of the brain, the pituitary gland, releases a growth hormone at night while a person sleeps.
- Everyone dreams. Five minutes after a dream, half of the dream is forgotten. Ten minutes after a dream, over 90% is forgotten.
- Blind people dream, as well. Whether or not they dream in pictures depends on if they were born blind or lost their vision later.
- Some people (about 12%) dream only in black and white while others dream in color.
- Studies show that brain waves are more active while dreaming than when you are awake.
- If you are snoring, you are not dreaming.
- As those who invest in dream dictionaries can attest, dreams almost never represent what they actually are. The unconscious mind strives to make connections with concepts you will understand, so dreams are largely symbolic representations.
- A study published in the journal Sleep Medicine describes how Disney creators used real sleep disorders in many of their animated pets.
We Put the Neuro in Neuroscience
What do you call a skull without 1 billion neurons? A no-brainer.
- It is estimated we have approximately 100 billion Neurons that is about 166 times the number of people on the planet.
- Humans continue to make new neurons throughout life in response to mental activity.
- Each neuron connects with, on average, 40,000 synapses.
- A piece of brain tissue the size of a grain of sand contains 100,000 neurons and 1 billion synapses all communicating with each other.
- All brain cells are not a. There are as many as 10,000 specific types of neurons in the brain.
- 25% of the body’s cholesterol resides within the brain. Cholesterol is an integral part of every brain cell. Without adequate cholesterol, brain cells die.
- Neurons send information to your brain at more than 150 miles (241 kilometers) per hour.
- All neurons lined up side by side would stretch 1000 km; unfortunately, the line would be 10 microns wide…invisible to the naked eye.
Historical Moments in the Brain Waves of History
What do you get when you cross a thought with a light bulb? A bright idea.
- 4000 B.C. The first known writing about the brain was found in ancient Sumeria.The anonymous writer describes the euphoric, mind-altering feeling caused by eating poppies.
- 2000 B.C. Archeologists found evidence that primitive brain surgery was performed by drilling a hole in the skull.
- 1700 B.C. The first description of the anatomy of the brain is found by Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus.
- c. 6th century B.C. An early Greek physician was the first to claim that the brain is the central organ of sensation and thought, the eyes themselves hold light, and that the optic nerves are light-bearing paths to the brain.
- 384 B.C.-322 B.C. Aristotle believed that the center of thought was the heart and that the brain’s function was merely to cool the heart.
- 1811. Scottish surgeon Charles Bell described how each of the senses had a corresponding spot in the brain.
- Late 1800s Eduard Hitzig and Gustav Fritsch discovered that the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa.
- 1862. Paul Broca determined the location of the speech center in the brain. The section of the brain responsible for speech was named “Broca” in honor of his research.
- 1883. Russian Writer Ivan Turgenev had the heaviest known normal human brain, weighing in at 4.43 lbs. He died in 1883. The smallest known normal brain belonged to a woman who died in 1977. Her brain weighed just 2.41 pounds.
- 1899. Aspirin was marketed as a pain reliever but was not available without a prescription until 1915.
- 1921. Hermann Rorschach invented the now-famous ink blot test for use with his patients.
- 2013. US President Barack Obama announces the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.
- 2014. John O’Keefe, Edvard Moser, and May-Britt Moser share the Nobel Prize for their discoveries about cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.