Surprising Facts About Your Brain
The human brain is the largest on earth when taking into account brain to body size ratio. For instance, an elephant’s brain is larger than a human’s, but only accounts for 2% of its body weight. Whereas the human brain accounts for 3%.
A recent study gave visual evidence of how memories are created inside our brains: upon having a notable experience, the brain will forge a connection between two previously unconnected neuroreceptors. This new connection captures everything your brain had associated with that experience. After pinpointing what made a memory, the neuroscientists involved in the study dug deeper and found that when an individual recalled a certain memory, the connection associated with that experience became overly active. For example, something as simple as a scent or a song can trigger memories in the brain.
The human brain is roughly the same size at birth as it is in adulthood.
Discover magazine conducted a study in 2003 proving that people who regularly consumed seafood, 2-3 times a week, were 30% less at risk to mental illness. Ingestion of shellﬁsh has also since been associated with a decrease of early onset Alzheimer's symptoms.
Pain and Gender
A recent study shows that men and women are hard wired to react to (and feel) pain diﬀerently. Along the same lines, men’s and women's brains tolerate diﬀerent kinds of pain uniquely. A women may be able to handle an illness more than the opposite gender, while a man might be able to better handle a physical injury.
The Shower Principle
Many people can relate to having an “aha moment” in the shower after a long day. Now we know why. The Scientiﬁc American article explains that a distracted brain can be more creative and eﬃcient with problem solving. Giving the brain a simple task that you have done time and time again provides a chance to stop giving our undivided attention to problem solving. According to the article, the brain is most eﬃcient while slightly distracted.
According to recent research, it is literally impossible to multitask. That is to say, we can’t do two things at the same time, but our brains are incredibly proﬁcient at switching priorities. Research done on a number of athletes showed that their brains change “direction” every few milliseconds to keep tabs on what is required of the body. The same prioritization is performed with tasks as simple as ﬂipping channels while eating a sandwich.
While it is pretty amazing that our brains can do this, the same study shows that the average error rate increased by 50% when people were required to multitask, especially in professional aspects.
Napping is the ultimate quick charge for our brains. Some exciting recent studies have shown that napping can “solidify memories”. Taking a quick nap after processing some important information can drastically improve our retention. Napping also helps clear the brain’s temporary storage areas, creating more aptitude for new information. The brain is about 96% more active during a nap than REM sleep, especially when it comes to matters of creativity and problem solving.
Meditation can physically “rewire” your brain. A recent study performed at the University of Utah monitored a Buddhist monk while he was in a meditative state. The results were astounding. For starters, the average activity of the brain ranges from 30% to 50%, with most of the activity in the frontal and occipital lobes. While this monk was meditating, however, his brain activity was averaging 80%, and it was evenly distributed among the whole brain. Meditation has also been associated with deeper creativity, better memory, and an increase in motivation; all as a result of a chemical reaction from this neurological state that causes an increased release of dopamine.
The brain is pretty cool, and we continue to learn new amazing facts about it every day.