The brain is the most complex and powerful organ in the human body. It controls our thoughts, feelings, and actions. It is responsible for our sense of self and our ability to learn, remember, and create. We’re exploring 10 fascinating facts about the brain, from its incredible power to its small size and surprising flexibility. So let’s dive in and learn more about this incredible organ!
1. The human brain grows three times its size by your first birthday!
Your brain starts out like the rest of you – really small!
By the time you’re one year old, your brain will have grown three times its size. It isn’t until you’re 25 that your brain reaches its full size.
2. The human brain gets smaller as we get older
When you’re about 40, your brain starts to shrink.
But there’s no need to tell a grown-up they’re getting dumber.
Luckily for us all, there’s no evidence a bigger brain is any more clever than a smaller brain, and vice versa.
3. Brain freezes are called sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia
And it’s a warning signal.
A brain freeze happens when you eat or drink something that’s too cold, like an ice lolly or a slushy.
It’s not actually your brain that gets cold but blood vessels and arteries in the very back of the throat.
The sensation is a warning signal. It’s your brain telling you to stop what you are doing to prevent any sudden changes to the temperature in the brain.
You can find out more about brains, blood and arteries here…
4. Your brain is fat
About 60% fat actually – the fattest organ in a healthy body!
5. Dreams are a combination of imagination and physical conditions in the brain
Dreams are proof that your brain is working even when you are sleeping.
The average human has about 4-7 dreams per night, even if you can’t remember them all.
There’s several reasons why we dream. Our imagination is a part of it, but so are physical conditions like how healthy the connections in our brains are and even how warm or cold we are.
6. Multitasking is impossible
Rather than doing two things at once, your brain actually switches between tasks.
If you do something else, or if something distracts you, that’s known as a ‘context switch’ and it can take your brain up to 30 minutes to get back into the concentrated state it was before you changed tasks.
7. The human brain contains over one hundred billion neurons
This is about the same as the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
These are connected by trillions of connections but only take up about 10% of your brain.
8. We use more than 10% of our brain
You might have heard the myth that we’re really bad at using our brains. That’s totally untrue!
Like your body, most parts are active over the course of the day. We just use different bits at different times.
9. Short term memory is about a-minute-and-a-half
This has to do with your brain’s capacity for holding small amounts of information.
Think of your brain like it has two buckets: easy access and deep access.
The brain keeps information you’ll need again quickly in for easy access but only does so for about a minute and a half.
If you know you’ll need that information a lot, your brain stores it somewhere else which can mean it’ll take longer to retrieve.
10. The brain can’t feel pain
Finally, your brain can’t feel anything!
There are no pain receptors in the brain itself.
Surgery can be done on the brain and technically the brain does not feel that pain.
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