The study of the human brain is one of the least explored areas in science. Even experts agree that we don’t know much more about the brain than we currently know. In recent years, our knowledge of the brain has exploded, much of what we know about the brain has been discovered in the past 15 years. So, many facts of the human brain have not yet found a place in the public’s awareness.
Mind-Blowing Facts of the Human Brain
The most complex expression of intelligence we know of resides between our ears.
Here are some incredible numerical facts about the human brain.
- The typical brain contains about 2% of the total body weight, but it uses 20% of its total energy and oxygen intake
- Your brain is 73% water. It takes only 2% of dehydration to affect your attention, memory, and other cognitive skills.
- Ninety minutes of sweating can temporarily shrink the brain as little as one year of age.
- The brain weighs about three pounds. Sixty percent of dry weight is fat, making the brain the fattiest organ in the body.
- Twenty-five percent of the body’s cholesterol resides in the brain. Cholesterol is an integral part of every brain cell. Without enough cholesterol, brain cells die.
- No one knows for sure, but the latest estimate is that the brain contains about 86 billion brain cells.
- Each neuron can transmit up to 1,000 nerve impulses per second and make thousands of synaptic contacts with other neurons.
- A piece of brain tissue the size of a grain of sand contains 100,000 neurons and 1 billion synapses, all of which communicate with each other. Not all brain cells are the same. There are about 10,000 specific types of neurons in the brain.
- Your brain needs a constant supply of oxygen. Less than five minutes without oxygen can cause some brain cells to die, which can lead to serious brain damage.
- Babies have big heads to hold fast-growing brains. A 2-year-old’s brain is 80% of an adult’s size.
- As any parent can attest, teen brains are not fully formed. The human brain does not reach full maturity until the age of 25.
- Information in the brain travels up to 268 miles per hour. This is faster than Formula 1 race cars that go at 240 mph.
- The brain generates about 20 watts of electricity. This is enough to power a low-wattage light bulb.
- There is a reason why the brain has been called a “random thought generator”. According to the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at the University of Southern California, the average brain generates 48.6 thoughts per minute. This adds up to a total of 70,000 views per day.
- Every minute 750-1,000 ml of blood flows through the brain. This is enough to fill a bottle of wine or a liter bottle of soda.
- Your brain can process the image your eyes have seen in as little as 13 milliseconds – less time than it takes you to blink.
Facts about the brain and memory
It was once thought that the brain records memories like a camera, but this is an oversimplification. Rather than being discrete recordings of the experience, memory-making is akin to the making of improvisational jazz.
- Memory is better thought of as an activity rather than being associated with a specific area of the brain. Any given memory is decomposed and distributed to different parts of the brain. Then, in order to recall the memory, it must be reconstructed from the individual fragments.
- At the age of 24, your brain starts to slow down, but at different ages, it peaks for different cognitive skills. In fact, at any age, you’re likely to be better at some things and worse at others. An extreme case is vocabulary skills that can peak in life as early as the late 70s.
- If you were drinking and you can’t remember what you did last night, it’s not because you forgot. When you are drunk, your brain is unable to form memories.
- It is generally believed that people with extraordinary memories are born that way, but this is rarely the case. Most memory masters will tell you that having an excellent memory is a skill that they have developed by employing the best memory techniques.
Read more on Chemical in Brain, Split Brain Theory, How Brain Constructs Dreams?