20 Fascinating Facts About the Human Brain

Did you know that the human brain uses less power than a refrigerator light? In fact, it only uses 12 watts of power, which is only 17% of the body’s energy. Even with this knowledge, the brain is still a complex and mysterious organ that continues to baffle scientists.

Many scientists have dedicated their entire lives to studying and understanding the intricacies of the brain. Below are twenty amazing facts about this fascinating organ that will leave you in awe:

  • The brain has a joke center. Patients with damaged frontal lobes may not be able to understand jokes.
  • The brain cannot distinguish between background noise and the voice on the phone, making it difficult to hear phone conversations in noisy rooms.
  • Yawning wakes you up. It allows more air into the lungs, increasing oxygen to the brain.
  • The brain is hardwired to remember annoying songs. This is due to “sequence recall,” the process that helps us remember daily routines and can also get songs stuck in our heads.
  • Frequent jet lag can damage memory. Stress hormones released during jet lag can damage the temporal lobe and memory.
  • Altitude can cause strange visions. Oxygen deprivation can interfere with visual and emotional processing.
  • Shoot-’em-up computer games aid multitasking. Shooting multiple enemies forces constant reaction to events and spreads attention.
  • You can’t tickle yourself. The brain dulls expected sensations when we cause them ourselves.
  • Bright sunlight can make you sneeze. Crossed wires in the brain stem send signals from the eye through the nose.
  • The brain weighs about 1.36kg and is made up of roughly 75% water.
  • The brain stops growing at age 18.
  • It uses 20% of the total oxygen in your body.
  • Brain waves are more active while dreaming than when you are awake.
  • Excessive stress can alter brain cells, structure, and function.
  • The brain can live for 4 to 6 minutes without oxygen, after which it begins to die. Lack of oxygen for 5 to 10 minutes can result in permanent brain damage.
  • Reading aloud and talking to young children promote brain development.
  • A newborn baby’s brain grows about three times its size in the first year.
  • The human brain is the fattest organ in the body and may consist of at least 60% fat.

Watch the video below for even more cool facts about the brain!

FAQ

1. What is the weight of the human brain?

The human brain weighs about 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms) on average. However, the weight can vary depending on the person’s age, gender, and overall health. Despite its relatively small size, the brain is the most complex organ in the human body, with billions of neurons and trillions of connections between them.

2. How much energy does the brain consume?

The brain consumes about 20% of the body’s energy, even though it only makes up about 2% of the body’s weight. This is because the brain is constantly active, even when we’re asleep. The brain needs a constant supply of glucose and oxygen to function properly, and any interruption of this supply can lead to serious health problems.

3. Can the brain regenerate?

The brain has a limited ability to regenerate, but it can create new connections between neurons and even grow new neurons in certain areas. This process is called neuroplasticity, and it allows the brain to adapt to new situations and learn new skills throughout life. However, the brain cannot regenerate damaged neurons, so any injuries or diseases that kill neurons can have permanent effects.

4. How fast does information travel in the brain?

Information travels through the brain at different speeds depending on the type of signal and the distance between neurons. However, the fastest signals can travel at speeds of up to 268 miles per hour (431 kilometers per hour). This is faster than the speed of sound and much faster than the speed of nerve signals in the rest of the body.

5. Can the brain multitask?

The brain cannot truly multitask in the sense of doing two things at once. Instead, it rapidly switches between tasks, giving the impression of multitasking. This can lead to decreased performance and increased stress, as the brain has to constantly switch its focus. However, some people are better than others at switching between tasks, and training can improve this skill.

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