Humans have the most complex brain of all creatures on Earth. Our brain is also the most complex and important organ of our body. It is made up of more than 100 billion nerves that communicate in trillions of connections called synapses. The complexity of the connectivity between these cells helps it to control all of the bodily functions as well as the other organs. Every thought, action, memory, feeling and experience of the world is produced by our brain.
1. There are about 100 billions neurons in the human brain – about the same number of stars in our galaxy.
2. By the age of 3 a child’s brain has formed about 1,000 trillion connections, which is about twice as many as adults have. Young children’s brains are more open to learning and enriching influences, but at around 11 years the brain begins to prune unused connections. Thus connections that are used repeatedly in the early years become permanent; those that are not are eliminated.
3. Child abuse can lead to the development of behavior problems and affect brain structure and function. Scientists at UCL in collaboration with the Anna Freud Centre found that children exposed to family violence show the same pattern of activity in their brains as soldiers exposed to combat.
4. The diameter of an individual brain neuron is just 4 microns thick. To get an accurate impression on a neuron’s size imagine that you could fit near 30,000 neurons on the head of a pin.
5. The left side of our brain (left hemisphere) controls the right side of our body; while the right side of our brain (right hemisphere) controls the left side of our body.
6. Human brain consists of at least 60% fat which makes it the fattest organ in our body.
7. Eyeballs are a direct physical extension of the brain.
8. There is no sense of pain within the brain itself – which is why brain surgeons can perform brain surgery on conscious patients.
9. Human brain generates nearly 25 watts of power while we are awake. This is enough to power a light bulb.
Photo by Johan Hansson/ CC BY 2.0
10. Our brain can stay alive for 4 to 6 minutes without oxygen. After this the cells begin to die.
11. Although it only represents 2% of the total body weight, human brain consumes 20% of the total energy that is generated in the human body.
12. The brain treats rejection like physical pain.
13. Laughing it requires activity in five different areas of the brain.
14. Every time we recall a memory or have a new thought, we are creating a new connection in your brain.
15. Dieting may cause the brain to eat itself. In a study conducted in 2011 researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that in mice, neurons in the hypothalamus start to eat their own organelles (interior parts of a cell) and proteins when the animals are deprived of food. The body cannibalizing itself isn’t something new (the process is known as autophagy), but until now, it was believed that the brain was resistant to this process.
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