10 Interesting Facts About the Human Brain

Facts About the Human Brain

 The human brain is an amazing, complex organ. We still haven't unlocked all of its wonders and we're not sure if we'll ever be able to but what we already know is enough to consider it almost a miracle and if we're able to properly use only part of what we know it's capable of we can each create wonders. Here we are presenting  ten things that you probably didn't know about human brain.

1. Your brain can light up a small light bulb.

     The way we associate intelligence with brightness is not always figurative. You can literally use the electricity coming from a human mind that is wide awake to light a small light bulb. Let's explain how. The entire brain is composed of tiny microscopic cells called neurons and the communication that happens between these neurons through chemical reactions is what gives us this entire life experience, from our senses to our body functions to even our most instinctive actions. Each of these neurons produces an amazingly small electric charge in order to do its job, but we have them in the tens of billions inside of our brains, roughly 100 billion neurons, in total those tiny fragments of electricity combined can power a small light bulb.

2. The human brain beats a supercomputer.

     There are billions of neurons inside your brain communicating among themselves through trillions of connections. These make up layers upon layers of processing that's happening in parallel with each network of neurons responsible for a certain role inside the brain reaching out for the data that concerns it. And the most baffling part of it all is that most of the results of that processing do not even make it to the conscious mind which makes us unaware of them as they remain hidden in our subconscious minds where they push us to compulsively act in certain ways often without noticing you are. Think of when you make a reflex action like duck when something is thrown at you or run to a more concealed place if your acrophobic and were exposed to massive heights. You might not realize it because it comes to you naturally but the amount and complexity of the calculations that go into that simple reflex action are staggering. The only difference with mathematicians is that they can articulate calculations inhuman language but the brain inside each and every one of us is doing complex calculations all the time it's just done instinctively without us knowing how to consciously do them.

3. There's a stupidity virus.

     That's right in 2014 researchers from John Hopkins School of Medicine and the University of Nebraska discovered a virus that attacks human DNA and just makes us more stupid. The researchers were studying throat microbes when they found this virus in the throat swabs of 43.5% of the study's 92 volunteers. Those who were infected made 10 percent worse than their counterparts in visual processing speed tests and asked to draw a line to connect a sequence of numbers scattered randomly the infected volunteers were slower than the uninfected ones. The virus was also found to cause spatial awareness and attention spans to deteriorate. Since this virus originally infects green algae a group of mice were fed green algae some infected and some not and the ones that received the virus exhibited the same changes as the human volunteers so it's official ATCV-1 one is the stupidity virus.

4. The brain itself can't feel pain. 

     Although it's responsible for activating our pain receptors throughout the whole body which means that any sort of pain we ever feel is caused by the brain the brain itself doesn't have any pain receptors and so brain surgery can be performed on a patient while they're awake without the use of anesthesia and the brain itself won't feel the slightest pain. To understand how that is let's explore the mechanism of pain itself so there are those special sensory neurons known as nociceptors that are basically responsible for informing our bodies about what feels bad based on the presence of any harmful chemical or temperature or the possibility of damage to have happened to your body. These nociceptors are the ones that carry the pain sensation up to your brain and allow you to feel it when for example you hit your knee or stub your toe. These neurons don't exist for the brain itself as they do for almost all other organs in your body and that's why your brain itself can't feel any pain.

5. Your brain signals can move as fast as a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. 

     We talked about how your brain can surpass the supercomputer in its speed now it's time to compare it to a super car but here we are comparing a very specific component of your brain what is called aneurotransmitter. These are special chemicals that are responsible for carrying signals from one neuron to the other inside your brain and depending on the movement of these chemicals the speed by which the signals move is decided. These signals can be as fast as 268 miles per hour which is almost exactly the maximum speed of a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport one of the world's five fastest cars.

6. Violent upbringings can cause permanent damage to the brain

     According to experts at University College London UCL and the Anna Freud Center a child's brain is affected by violence directed against them from the parents or from the parents against one another in the same way that a soldier's brain reacts to combat. That's right a turbulent house environment especially one where there's physical violence can cause almost permanent damage to the brain similar to that which appears when soldiers develop post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. In the study the children with histories of family violence showed increased activity in the parts of the brain responsible for threat detection when they were exposed to pictures of angry faces. It's obvious that the way you raise a child is crucial to their development but it cannot be emphasized enough because whatever they experience during their years of early growth can remain wired deep into their brains which means that it can be hard if not impossible to reverse later on which brings us to the next point.

7. Our brain changes whenever we learn something or form a memory. 

     If you are familiar with machine learning concepts you would be familiar with the term neural networks. These are systems through which a computer can learn to recognize a certain pattern. By being exposed to a large number of variants of that pattern for example if you want a computer to recognize tigers you feed its neural network with hundreds or thousands of pictures of tigers and the more it sees these images the better adjusted its neural network is in order to recognize the patterns that make up a tiger. That's similar to what happens in the human brain but with perhaps thousands of times higher complexity. When you learn something this new knowledge causes a massive changes the brain because it rewires they in order to make it think in a different way than it did before learning that new information or acquiring that new memory. After the  rewiring is complete the new knowledge or set of skills gradually becomes easier to use because they are now wired into the brain which you can see with musicians artists or even craftsmen who after years of practice start performing whatever they do like its second nature. That's also why learning something new can be tough because the bigger and more complicated the information the larger its impact becomes on the brain so give yourself time when learning something new and let your brain go through these changes smoothly.

8. You're more creative when you're exhausted. 

     Ever wonder why your most creative ideas always hit you in the shower after a long day of hectic work. There's actually a valid reason behind that. After scanning the brains of rappers during freestyling something which obviously entails a massive degree of creativity researchers Alan brown and see when Leo found that the reason creativity occurs best when a person is worn out is that the sections of the brain responsible for regulating the rest of the brain's functions are inhibited. When we're tired that makes us release the more natural and improvised ideas that come to us without having them go through the same filters that they go to when we're all awake and alert tend to be an obstacle to creativity. After all, each of us can be creative in one way or another if we don't keep censoring out most of our ideas because they'll sound weird for that we are afraid they'll make us look stupid to someone else. Just remember that it's the regulatory part of the brain that's telling you all of this so either negotiate with it or wait until you're tired and then get all creative.

9. There's no such thing as multitasking. 

     We're always told that multitasking is essential for productivity and success and that in order to be efficient we must learn to write emails while speaking on the phone to a client and at the same time eating lunch. That's all mostly untrue and according to many studies multitasking only gives us an illusion of productivity but the actual results are something else. Those who focus on one task at a time tend to perform better and more efficiently than so-called multitaskers and that's because the brain itself does not multitask at all all it does is switch between activities. So it's not that you are actually writing emails while speaking to a client on the phone you are actually doing only one of them at a time but because you keep switching your brain from one to the other you end up wasting its energy and a lot of the productivity that could have occurred if you had done each task one at a time. So don't go for the comforting illusion of productivity that multitasking gives you and try to organize your tasks more efficiently and most importantly don't wait too heavily on your brain. 

10. We don't remember real memories.

     We're not trying to freak you out here or anything but it turns out that our recollection of memory is not as solid as we would like to think. When we remember anything we're almost reinventing the memory in our minds it's reimagineation rather than wreak election it's not like how a computer does it where they reach out to a certain store data on command and just present it to the users. We recreate the memory in our minds and so the spooky part is that it's not just that we find holes in the memory we're trying to recall but even the parts that we do remember some are completely made up as we're trying to remember them. It's kind of like the telephone game that we used to play as children the environment and the context where you're trying to recall a memory affects your brain networks and as these networks pass the memory to each other they end up adding small distortions to the memory so that sometimes it ends up completely different from what really happened. 

Now tell us smartly pers did you know your brain was complex to that degree and which exactly of the ten facts we mentioned surprised you the most to know? Tell us in the comments.

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