Brain Facts: Learn some curious and fascinating facts about the brain!
Brain facts. Our brain is exciting, it is the result of millions of years of evolution and although it is still an enigma, we are increasingly discovering more about this powerful and wonderful organ that governs our lives. The brain is arguably the most vital organ in our entire body. In a way, the brain is like a giant computer that stores an immense amount of information. Check out these brain facts!
Brain facts: Curiosities and more
1. Size of the Brain
Relative to size, human brains are much bigger than other mammals. In fact, our brains are over three times bigger than mammal’s brains similar in size. As you can imagine, there are no correlations between the animals’ absolute brain sizes and cognitive abilities. Cows, for example, have larger brains than just about any species of monkey, but unless they are very, very good at hiding it, cows are almost certainly less cognitively capable than most, if not all, “lesser-brained” primates.
2. Weight of the Brain
Our brains weigh about on average 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg), the same weight as the average brain of a dolphin (which is also a very intelligent animal). This represents 2% of the body weight. The weight of the brain does not mean greater intelligence, evidence that this fact is that the brain of the elephant weighs on average 4,700 grams in comparison with the 1,400 of the human being. Also, the brain of the sperm whale weighs 7,800 grams. Evidently, neither sperm whales nor elephants are cognitively superior to humans.
3. Hemispheres symmetry and functions
Cerebral asymmetry is the functional imbalance between the two cerebral hemispheres. Although they are almost identical in size, the two hemispheres are not used in the same way and have different functions. The previous brain facts show how different brains might be not only with other animals but also among humans.
4. The right side is related to non-verbal expression.
It is demonstrated that in the right part of the brain are located the spatial perception, emotional behavior (ability to express and capture emotions), ability to control the nonverbal aspects of communication, intuition, recognition, and memory of faces, voices, and music. The right brain thinks and remembers images.
Various studies have shown that people whom their dominant hemisphere is the right study, think, remember and learn in images as if it were a movie without sound. These people are very creative and have very developed imagination. However, the left hemisphere is dominant for most individuals. It seems that this half is the most complex, it is related to the verbal part. There are two structures that are closely related to the linguistic capacity of the human being, the Broca and Wernicke areas.
Also, the right side of the brain interacts with the left side of our bodies, and the left side of the brain interacts with the right side of our bodies. Brain facts such as this one explain why even twins have different behavior and interests, one can be very creative and the other more analytical.
5. 60% of the brain is formed by fat
The brain is composed in its 60% by fat, reason why without it, we could not live. People who eat a diet low in omega 3 fatty acids are more likely to suffer accelerated wear and tear on the brain. The brain is regarded as the fattest organ in our entire bodies. It has the highest concentration of fat present in a single organ in a healthy human being.
6. The brain is composed of 83% water. When you drink water you improve your cognitive performance.
Most of the brain is water. It seems that only 2% dehydration can cause momentary memory loss, and adversely affect cognition and brain performance (attention, concentration, planning, etc. Our brain to be fit needs brain training or exercises, but also hydration.
7. The brain has very little capacity to store nutrients.
The normal brain has a poor capacity to store nutrients so it demands a high supply of oxygen and glucose that is satisfied through the blood flow. The brain represents 2% of a human total body weight. It receives 12%-15% of cardiac work and consumes 20% of oxygen.
8. The brain releases “sparks or fireworks”.
The human brain produces electricity all the time. When you wake up, your brain produces enough electricity to light a small lamp. The brain is made up of billions of brain cells called neurons, which communicate with each other. The combination of millions of neurons sending signals at the same time produces an enormous amount of electrical activity in the brain, which can be detected by the electroencephalogram (EEG), which measures the levels of electricity in the scalp area.The electrical activity produced by the brain forms a pattern of brain waves. Brain facts that refer to fireworks in our head seem impossible, however, this phenomenon is called brain zaps.
9. The electrical activity produced by the brain forms a pattern of brain waves.
This electrical activity of the brain changes depending on the activity that is being done. For example, the brainwaves of a sleeping person are very different from the brainwaves of someone that is awake.
10. Ideas and memories change your brain.
Ideas and memories produce changes in our brain. Every idea and memory create new connections in your brain. The connections between nerve cells are known as synapses and the carry information through nerve impulses from one neuron to the next. Each new synapses, changes connections in areas of the brain such as the cerebral cortex and hippocampus that is associated with the learning and retention of new information.That means that right now a new connection is being created in your brain. Giving place to what is known as neuroplasticity.
11. Our cognitive skills do not age at the same time
The ability to think quickly and recall information peaks at age 20. An MIT study suggests that changes in mental activity are more complex than they initially seemed. According to their results, there is no single peak of cognitive development, but different peaks and brain tasks are gradually lost. That is to say, although it is certain that our mind starts losing abilities at our 20s, not all of our abilities decay from this age, but certain activities continue working at full capacity until our 40s.
12. The brain needs a continuous supply of oxygen
Lack of oxygen for 5-10 minutes in the brain can cause severe brain damage. Normal blood oxygen levels range from 95 to 100 percent. Oxygen ensures the activity of your brain, as well as the functioning of the nervous system, glands, muscles, and organs.
Brain cells die without oxygen. A drop in oxygen can cause mental problems such as confusion and long-term memory loss. If these evils are accompanied by other signs such as tingling sensation in the fingers and chronic cough, go see a doctor.It’s almost impossible to tickle yourself!
13. Incredible brain facts: It’s almost impossible to tickle yourself!
Our brains can differentiate between our touches and other people’s touches. Your “unexpected” touch, no matter how cleverly you disguise it, is almost always expected. Some scientists believe the cerebellum prevents us from tickling ourselves because it can distinguish expected sensations from unexpected sensations.
14. The brain has been known to play tricks on us.
Have you ever heard of “Déjà vu”? Déjà vu is a French term that literally means “already seen” and is reported to happen in 60-70% of people, most commonly between the ages of 15 and 25. The fact that déjà vu occurs so randomly and rapidly—and in individuals without a medical condition—makes it difficult to study, therefore there is a great deal of speculation behind it.
15. Stressful brain facts: Stress Changes Your Brain
New research on the brain confirms that having a hard childhood produces physiological changes that are detectable decades later. Dr. Jack P. Shonkoff, a Harvard professor of child development and health bases his claims on a longitudinal study conducted in New Zealand on more than 1,100 people in 32 years.
This research demonstrates that prolonged stress leads to elevated heart rate, blood pressure, elevated cytokines, high levels of blood sugar insulin resistance and activation of the inflammatory system. According to Shonkoff, stress can weaken the brain structure resulting in a destruction of neural circuits in charge of learning, memory and executive functions. This brain fact shows that a hard childhood can translate into developmental dysfunction leading to chronic illnesses, poor school performance, and shorter life expectancy.
16. The sense of taste is not found on the tongue, it’s found in the brain.
Our brain has taste receptors, that means these receptors are not on the tongue as everyone believes. It is often thought that the taste buds are responsible for detecting the five flavors of food and send that information to the brain. A group of researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have published an article which shows that a mouse can be made to perceive that water is sweet or bitter only by modifying a group of neurons brain.
17. Listening to the words “no” and “yes” can change your brain
In the United States, Mark Waldman and Andrew Newberg, psychiatrist and professor, launched the book Words Can Change Your Brain. In that book, they say that when the word “no” is heard at the beginning of a dialogue, the brain begins to release cortisol, the stress hormone, which puts us on alert. However, when we hear a “yes”, it triggers a release of dopamine, the hormone related to reward and well-being.
Leonardo Palacios, a neurologist, assures that any spoken expression, whether positive or negative, produces an emotional discharge from the brain.
18. Intelligence does not depend on the number of folds
There is the idea that how many more coils or folds there are in the brain the more intelligent the person will be. However, scientists have denied this myth through brain autopsies of great thinkers who after their death left their brains to science.
19. Diets without preservatives or dyes improve brain performance
Undergoing unhealthy diets can cause the brain, so to speak, to “eat itself.” A study of one million New York students showed that people who ate at noon without preservatives or artificial colorings got 14% more scores on intelligence tests. Discover super foods for your brain.
20. The texture of the brain is similar to tofu
Experts say our brain has a consistency similar to that of tofu or gelatine. Fatty tissues, blood vessels, and water found in the brain give it that same consistency.
21. Eating chocolate is good for the brain
The brain loves chocolate. Just smell chocolate so that your brainwaves increase and you feel more relaxed. A study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) claims that consuming up to 100 grams of chocolate per day reduces the risk of heart disease or stroke. According to the researchers, compared to those who didn’t eat any chocolate, those who consumed the most were 11% less at risk for cardiovascular disease, and 23% less suffering from a stroke.
22. Laughter modifies the brain
Having a sense of humor not only makes us happy but in the long run, it ends up modifying our brain in a positive way, according to recent scientific studies. The previous two brain facts show us the importance of eating chocolate and laughing our hearts out, a perfect plan for Saturday night.
23. If you put your neurons in a row, they could travel 1,000 km
The number of neurons in an adult brain is 100,000 million. If we put them in line they would reach 1,000 km.
24. Your brain doesn’t stop working while you sleep
When we sleep we consume the same energy needed to light a 25-watt bulb. The brain is more active when we are asleep than when we are awake. Neural connections are established more quickly when asleep therefore we need more oxygen and sugar.
25. The brain consumes a lot of energy and calories
One study compared a group of students who worked on their computers intensely to another group who did no brain exercises. The energy they both used was almost the same. However, at the end of their task, those on their computers consumed 200 calories more. This is because the brain takes its energy from glucose, and concentration lowers blood glucose levels.
Another reason is that the brain never stops controlling breathing, digestion, and other bodily functions. We could say that 25% of the calories we spend is our brain’s responsibility.
26. Facial recognition has a brain pattern
Bruce and Young proposed a cognitive model of face recognition. This model proposes several steps in the processing of information from the moment when a familiar face is seen until when the recognition is made. They established that when you recognize a face, you first look at the eyes, then the mouth and finally the nose.
27. RGS-14 protein improves photographic memory
It has been discovered that RGS-14 protein increases our photographic memory. A group of scientists at the University of Malaga has discovered that increased production of RGS-14 protein could significantly increase visual memory. They increased this protein in mice and found they were able to recall objects they had seen for up to two months. Usually, normal animals are not able to store the same information more than 45 minutes. They also established that the V2 region of the brain is responsible for creating visual memories because without this region the mice couldn’t remember the objects.
28. Life expectancy of a neuron
The life expectancy of a sensory neuron is only 70 days
29. Sense of Smell can bring back old memories
Our memory for odors is unbeatable. Smell is the sense with the ability to remind us of old memories.
30. The brain activates different areas when you like a person
Mahzarin Banaji and his colleague Jason Mitchell of Harvard University compared the neural activity of different subjects a few years ago while thinking of people of different and equal political ideology and found that different brain areas are activated. It has been proven that when we think of people related to our way of thinking our ventral area of the prefrontal cortex is activated.
31. The brain has hidden detriments
Some people would be horrified if they were labeled as macho or racists, however, without realizing it, unconsciously we have hidden preferences. Our unconscious is capable of preferring or reject something. The empirical evidence of prejudice is based on the fact that when we are with other people with different opinions than our own the dorsal area of the prefrontal cortex is activated.
32. A Mediterranean diet can protect the brain
The Mediterranean diet could protect the brain against damages such as Alzheimer’s disease. Thanks to a study conducted by the University of Columbia we know that the Mediterranean diet preserves the brain and keeps it nutritionally in a good condition.
33. The brain generates new neurons throughout its life
This process is called Neurogenesis. In 1998, scientists from Princeton University and others announced observations of neurogenesis in the hippocampus and olfactory bulbs of the adult primate brain. In 1999, the same group published a paper demonstrating the existence of areas in the neocortex of adult monkeys where new neuronal growth was present. Later, researchers at the Salk Institute reported neurogenesis in the hippocampus of adult human brains.
34. Physical exercise helps to generate new neurons
Physical exercise is a great way to stimulate neurogenesis. Running, jogging or biking is, according to scientists, the best exercises to stimulate neurogenesis. So to all the benefits of physical exercise, we must add the ability to make us smarter.
35. An injury can “turn off” your brain
Surely you have wondered why when boxers get hit they fall unconscious in a matter of seconds. This is because the physical impact damages the cells in the walls of the brain and stretches the axons that connect the neurons. This destabilizes the normal flow of the neurotransmitters and causes an ion potassium escape from the cells and an ion input of calcium. This triggers a sudden demand for chemical energy that the brain is unable to provide. As a result, the brain runs out of energy and goes out, triggering unconsciousness.
36. Alcohol prevents creation of new memories
If we drink excessively, we lose the ability to create memories. This “amnesia” is due to a neuropsychological and chemical interruption of the hippocampus, one of the regions of the brain responsible for memory. Find out why this happens in brain and alcohol article.
37. Brain facts about forgetting
It is good to forget information. This frees the brain from unnecessary information. A team of researchers from Birmingham and Cambridge University did a study where they managed to isolate forgetting mechanisms in the human brain. They were able to research at a neural level the fate of memories that would eventually be erased.
38. If you don’t sleep Watch out!
A study developed at the University of Minnesota has found that lack of sleep influences our brain. The reason is that sleep deprivation hinders the functioning of the frontal lobe, therefore, the ability to pay attention and make good decisions.
These researchers noticed that when people are very tired and need restful sleep, the blood flow to the frontal lobe is smaller and brain waves move slowly.
39. Lack of sleep makes you hungry
Not sleeping can not only affect your frontal lobe but can also influence our appetite. Sleep deprivation appears to boost levels of a substance that makes eating more enjoyable, similar to the effects of marijuana.
“We found that sleep deprivation increases a signal that could increase the hedonistic aspect of food intake, pleasure, and satisfaction derived from eating,” Erin Hanlon.
40. Much of the brain cells are still unknown
The human brain has 100 billion neurons, but there is not yet a complete inventory of all of them. Others are not taken into account in studies because they are named differently from neurons. The Allen Institute of Brain Science is completing the first database of brain cells.
41. A tumor can be removed while the patient sings to avoid sequelae
Ambroz Bajec-Lapajne was diagnosed with a brain tumor that put his life at risk, which is why he had to undergo a craniotomy. The complicated operation meant that the patient remained awake to avoid further complications. The neurosurgeon prepared a musical accompaniment so that the tenor could sing in order to monitor his ability to sing and vocalize during surgery.
42. How fast does your brain work?
It takes 200 milliseconds from the beginning of an idea in the brain until we can transform it into words, according to research carried out by the Pompeu Fabra University and the Catalan Institute for Advanced Studies Research in Barcelona.
43. Your brain is not in love, it’s stoned
When two people are in love, their brains release oxytocin. This hormone is related to healthy and long-term relationships. It is not only directly related to sex, but also to the process of birth and lactation. Oxytocin is known as the love hormone. Brain facts don’t always have to be black and white, even though the oxytocin is present there are also other factors involved in love.
44. The brain feels no pain
Since there are no pain receptors in the brain, it is incapable of feeling pain. This feature explains why neurosurgeons can operate on brain tissue without causing a patient discomfort, and, in some cases, can even perform surgery while the patient is awake, as we saw before.
45. The brain removes its own “garbage”
A group of neuroscientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center has found a new mechanism by which the brain removes its own “garbage”. This system, organized as a complex network of pipelines that surround the cerebral blood vessels that lead the waste, it is called the glymphatic system, very similar to the lymphatic system.
46. Yes, your brain during puberty is reorganizing itself
A study carried out by recording the brain waves of adolescents while they slept has revealed the important changes that occur in the brain in the transition from childhood to adulthood.
“Our results confirm that the brain goes through a phase of deep reorganization during puberty, a necessary reorganization for the development of complex thinking,” adds Feinberg.
47. High temperatures “stun” the brain
An excess of heat can lead to excessive tiredness and sleep problems. The hypothalamus in our brain acts as a “thermostat”, but when the temperature increases excessively the hypothalamus “collapses” and the temperature increases excessively producing hyperthermia or heat shock, stunning the brain in the process. Brain facts such as this one explain why during summer we just want to sit by a pool or a beach and do nothing but relax.
48. Direct communication from brain to brain has already been achieved
In 2014, scientists achieved direct brain-to-brain communication between humans. Scientists at the University of Washington were able to repeatedly transmit signals from a person’s brain over the Internet and used them to control the movements of another person’s hand in less than a tenth of a second.
49. We could build an artificial human brain in less than 10 years
Scientist Henry Markram, director of the Blue Brain Project (BBP), says we can build an artificial replica of the human brain within 10 years. In addition to helping us understand the mechanisms of the brain, the project could provide new clues to better understand mental disorders and develop new treatments.
50. The brain shrinks
The human brain shrinks over the course of the day, ending up smaller in the afternoon before returning to full size the next morning.You can live with only one hemisphere
51. You can live with only one hemisphere
You can live with just one hemisphere perfectly without personality or memory changes. This might be the only solution to syndromes such as Sturge-Weber and Rasmussen or to treat epilepsy that does not respond to drugs.
52. Every second your brain produces 100,000 chemical reactions
There are more than 100,000 chemical reactions in the brain every second.
53. Dream manipulation has already been achievedA team of neuroscientists led by psychologist Ursula Voss of the University of
A team of neuroscientists led by psychologist Ursula Voss of the University of Frankfurt managed to induce a group of volunteers to experience a lucid dream through frontal low current stimulation of gamma activity.
54. Pregnancy changes the brain and stimulates intelligence
Pregnancy modifies our brain for the better: scientists have discovered that motherhood stimulates intelligence and improves sensory abilities.
55. Overcoming the Myth of 10%
Most of your brain is active all the time, even when we sleep. There is a myth that we only use 10% of our brain, it is actually a fallacy without any scientific evidence.
56. The older you are the happier is your brain
Time helps our brain learn to carry the negative better. A British study established that happiness reaches your eighties, despite the ailments of health and loss of quality of life.Your brain can produce mirages
57. Your brain can produce miragesIf there is
If there is a mild deprivation of oxygen in the temporal and parietal lobes we may see things that do not really exist.The “phantom” limb and the brain
58. The “phantom” limb and the brain
The brain knows our body perfectly. After an amputation, the brain continues to believe that there is that part of the body that has already disappeared. This is the phantom limb phenomenon. It is because the neurons that have connections to the motoneurons of the amputated limb still receive energy from other connections and tell the brain that amputated region still exists. Over time the neurons in charge of that amputated area are redirected towards other regions, making synapses with the nearest neurons.
59. The path in Km of the blood vesselsThere
There are more than 160,000 km of blood vessels that run through the brain.
60. Taking risks and the Brain
According to another recent brain study, people who expect to gain something important, such as a prize, show increased brain activity in the areas related to pleasure. On the other hand, those who think they will lose have their greatest activity in the area of the brain linked to anxiety symptoms and disgust. This is very much related to decision making and risk. It was shown, for example, that when people are excited about the prospect of winning, they will tend to take greater risks, sometimes even irrational. This explains gambling addictions.
61. The difference between a man’s brain and a woman’s brain
There is no evidence of differences between a male brain and a female brain. Although there are some anatomical differences in certain areas based on sex, they are not enough to divide humans into two categories.
62. Can I make the brain grow?
Neuroscience has recently shown that brain size is related to certain habits and abilities. According to a US study published last year in the journal PNAS, moderate physical exercise in older adults increases the size of the hippocampus.
63. Listening to music from even before birth favors brain development
A study from the University of Florida revealed that those who listen to music since babies are more creative, happy and have better language skills.
64. Milk is good for the brain
A new study conducted at the University of Kansas Medical Center has linked milk to levels of a natural antioxidant called glutathione. This antioxidant benefits older adults brain since it helps avoid oxidative stress (related to diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s) among other things.
65. Smoking for 4 consecutive years impairs the brain
According to a UK study, it is enough to smoke for four years so that your memory, brain capacity to plan and cognitive skills suffer drastic deterioration.
66. A master gene in charge of brain development
Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have identified a single gene that serves as a master regulator of brain development. It is responsible for converting undifferentiated stem cells into the many types of cells that make up the brain.
67. Babies’ Brains Grow After Birth
Recent research published in the journal JAMA Neurology revealed a baby’s brain grows faster the more hours and days after delivery. One more reason not to separate from the baby in order to create a solid attachment.
68. Fear is a matter of number and depends on our neurons
According to a study, feeling fear is a matter of numbers and depends on a “democratic” vote among our neurons, who individually are able to distinguish what is a threat and what is not. If most are alarmed, we are afraid. On the contrary, if only a few are altered, there is no panic and we remain calm.
69. Computers are no match for our brains!
The 4 fastest most powerful computers need 40 minutes to replicate 1 minute of a human brain.
70. If you don’t have breakfast, your brain will ask for a more caloric meal later.
Scientists at Imperial College London, led by researcher Tony Goldstone, have shown that if we skip breakfast, hours later our brain often has “cravings” for high-calorie foods, to keep your brain energized.
71. Cafeíne increases memory
A study from John Hopkins University established that drinking 200mg of coffee before listening to an important lecture or doing an important job is not as beneficial as drinking it afterward since it will increase your memory.
72. Meditation increases your brain size
Meditation increases the size of the brain, as demonstrated by a study of the neuroimaging laboratory at the University of California. Specifically, people who meditate have more volume of neurons in the hippocampus, thalamus, and orbitofrontal cortex, linked to emotional regulation.
73. Stimulation increases learning potential
A highly stimulating environment increases children’s learning potential by up to 25%. Early stimulation in infants is important because it harnesses the brain’s capacity and plasticity for optimal development of the different areas. All this is achieved by providing a series of repetitive and playful stimuli, so as to enhance those brain functions that in the long run are of greater interest.
74. Caresses activate our brain reward system
The caress from someone we love can put into operation the reward system of the brain, according to a study published in the Neuron journal.
75. Emotions are found in the primitive structure of your brain
The limbic system is composed of a set of cerebral structures that are considered very primitive in evolutionary terms, being placed in the superior part of the brainstem, below the cortex. These structures are fundamentally involved in the development of many of our emotions and motivations, particularly those related to survival such as fear, anger, and emotions linked to sexual behavior.
76. Friendship influence the size of parts of the brain
Humans need to use a range of cognitive skills and emotional intelligence to keep a certain number of friends, such as being able to guess what another person is thinking, developing empathy, altruistic behaviors or being a good conversationalist. Researchers from Oxford, Liverpool and Manchester Universities explained that this is why people with more friends have a prefrontal orbital cortex above average size. Brain facts that encourage us to socialize and enjoy each other’s company.
77. Bilingual children have a dense gray matter
Children who learn 2 languages before age 5 modify their brain and their gray matter is denser when they are adults.
78.Yawning oxygenates the brain and keeps the head cool
Yawning does not mean we’re getting bored. We just yawn because our brain asks for oxygen. We also yawn when we see others doing so because of our mirror neurons. Try not to yawn!
79. Chronic stress impairs memory
Several studies have shown that sustained stress causes severe memory impairment. High levels of glucocorticoids in the brain damage the hippocampus, a key structure for learning and memory. Find out more about what happens to the brain when you are stressed.
80. Sea products can help the brain
Some studies claim that eating, at least once a week, seafood can reduce up to 30% the possibility of suffering some form of dementia.
81. Penfield homunculus represents the amount of information that the parts of our body receive
Penfield’s homunculus is a representation of how we would see ourselves if the parts of our body were proportionate to the amount of information they receive. As you can see in the picture the hands, feet, and face are the largest parts according to all the information they receive and perceive.
82. Your brain can store more content than the entire Internet.
A study published in the scientific journal ‘eLife’ shows that the human brain has a storage capacity ten times higher than what was estimated. According to scientists, on average, a synapse may contain about 4.7 bits of information. This means that the human brain has a capacity of a petabyte, that is, 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes, which would be what is needed to store all the current Internet content.
83. Crosswords do not make us have a younger brain
It is a myth that doing crossword puzzles keeps the brain younger. With crosswords, we only improve our access to vocabulary. If we want to improve our cognitive abilities we have to do it with personalized brain stimulation programs, such as CogniFit that has been created by neuroscientists and validated by hospitals and universities around the world. Brain facts such as this one enhance the idea that the sooner you start brain training the more your brain will benefit and your cognitive abilities might improve.
84. The emotional part of the brain differentiates sense of humor between men and women
There are some differences between a male’s sense of humor between and a female’s mainly due to the emotional part since the cognitive part of it is the same for both.
” For men: what usually makes them laugh is that something is absurd, while women, because of its mechanism of processing emotions, which is much more intense, They need the absurdity to be fun or funny because something simply absurd does not please them”. -Natalia López (biochemist)
85. Nerve Fibers Feed Tumors
According to a study by Columbia University published in Science Translational Medicine on the nervous system shows that at least in gastric cancer the vagus nerve contributes significantly to the formation of the tumor. Tumors arising from stomach lining in gastric cancer are fed by fibers from this vagus nerve that release the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Blocking this neurotransmitter might be a powerful technique to slow down this cancer. Brain facts like this one have the potential to modify science research driving it to better solutions against diseases.
86. Estrogens help memory
Sally Shaywitz’s team detected increased brain activity in areas associated with the active memory of postmenopausal women who choose to take estrogen and concluded that this hormone may help overcome the memory problems associated with postmenopause.
87. Brain waves during sleep tend to slow down
When we fell asleep for the first time at night we enter the slow wave sleep phase. As time goes on, the sleep gets deeper, and the ECG waves become slower. It is difficult to know what happens in the brain during slow wave sleep, but it seems that the cerebral cortex is relatively inactive. A subject who wakes up during this phase does not remember to be dreaming of anything, and for the first few seconds, he is confused and unable to coordinate his ideas, as when the cortex does not work properly. Slow wave sleep is controlled by the decline of certain neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine or amines (amines include several similar substances, such as serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline).
88. We dream in black and white
Only 12% of people have black and white dreams.
89. We never remember the moment when we fell asleep
The reason is there is amnesia, or loss of memory, the last minutes before falling asleep. Both of the previous brain facts, nor only reinforce the need to sleep but also let us know what to expect. Learn about Rem sleep here.
90. You can dream without pictures
Usually, blind people at a young age (up to about 3 or 4 years) do not dream of visual images, but in their dreams, they can speak, hear, feel, smell, taste, etc.
Blind people who have lost their sight at a later age (7 or 8 years) may dream at first with visual images, but such images may be lost as time passes and in some cases disappear altogether. Generally, blind people who have lost their sight to adulthood can dream some days with visual images, and other days without them.
91. Happier brain facts
More gray matter in the precuneus zone of the brain makes you happier. Psychologists know that happiness, in addition to favoring empathy, facilitates cognitive performance, problem-solving, creativity, curiosity and mental flexibility, as well as learning and memory. A team of researchers from Kyoto University found that those who scored higher on happiness surveys had more gray matter in a brain area called precuneus. In other words, those people who feel more intense happiness, less intense sadness, and are more able to find meaning to life have great precuneus.
92. Brain facts and the immune system
In a startling discovery, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have found that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels Blood, contrary to what was believed.
93. Brain facts and Insulin
Insulin plays an important role in neural functioning. New research reveals how the signaling pathway of insulin and insulin-like peptides plays a critical role in regulating learning and memory. Dr. Yun Zhang’s team at Harvard University has come to the conclusion that insulin may play an important role in neural functioning.Health issues and the brain
94. Brain facts and health
50-70% of visits to physicians due to physical discomfort is due to psychological factors.
95. A very long wait for brain scans…
Scientists have waited 50 years to see how LSD alters brain biology. David Nutt, a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College in London scanned for the first time the brains of people under the effect of LSD, one of the most powerful psychedelic drugs. Thanks to this breakthrough in technology, they are getting more detailed information about how the brain works. In many ways, the brain affected by LSD resembles our brain when we were children, which makes sense since it is said to enhance imagination in an almost child-like fashion.
96. Brain facts and the oldest human brain
The oldest human brain ever found was 2,600 years old! The organ was found inside a decapitated skull at an Iron Age dig site in Heslington, England in 2009. Since then it has been carbon dated and examined by experts who said the skull had been buried in wet, clay-rich ground providing an oxygen-free burial. They said the burial location could have helped conserve the brain, although the exact reason for its survival is unknown.
All these brain facts just show us how important and full of wonderful mysteries our brain is. Brain facts that are not only fascinating but make us question the intricacies of our neural patterns and cognitive processes.
Feel free to leave a comment below!
Alejandra is a clinical and health psychologist. She is a child specialist with a diploma in evaluation and intervention in autism. She has worked in different schools with young children and private practice for over 6 years. She is interested in early childhood intervention, emotional intelligence, and attachment styles. As a brain and human behavior enthusiast, she is more than happy to answer your questions and share her experience.