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Amazing Facts about Your Brain

Updated on May 11, 2020
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Having loved many people who have mental illnesses, Angela has researched as much as she can about the brain and mental illness.

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Much is unknown about the human brain, yet it is the most critical organ and makes up our identity. A person can have a heart transplant, have their appendix removed, or even have their colon removed, but the brain is irreplaceable. It is responsible for a person's attitudes, emotions, motor functions, senses, pain tolerance, health, ability to love, and ability to speak. There are so many more functions that the human body would not be able to do without the functioning of the brain. Each year, scientists are making more and more breakthroughs on the discoveries of how the brain processes? Although often the more that is discovered about this integral organ, the more questions asked.

Bran Scans

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The First Findings About The Brain

As far back as 400 BC, the Greeks and Egyptians understood that the brain was the control center for the entire body. Hippocrates was aware that the brain involved our intelligence and where we felt sensations. There is even evidence through Plato's teaching in 387 BC that he taught others that our mind was where our thoughts came from.

Aristotle, on the other hand, argued against Plato. Aristotle believed that the heart is where our thoughts come from. His belief was so widely accepted that we are even affected by these beliefs to this day. For instance, we often will say that we memorize things by heart, and who knows, maybe that's why we often will say our heart feels one way, and our brain knows another. Aristotle's beliefs were soon disregarded in the years after Christ, and the mind was more thoroughly studied as the powerhouse for the whole body in thought, sensations, and so much more, which led to the discovery of neurological disorders, which led to discoveries on how to surgically remedy them.

There was a period during the Renaissance that hindered these discoveries due to the church banning human dissection. Once this law was lifted, discoveries have amplified over the years.

It was in the nineteenth century when significant discoveries about the brain were discovered. In 1811, Charles Bell found that each of the five senses uses a specific spot within the brain. Since then, there have been significant studies regarding which portion of our bodies is affected by what ability.

10 week old fetus
10 week old fetus | Source

The Prenatal Mind

One of the first parts of a human embryo to begin to develop is the brain. It is also one of the fastest-growing parts of the embryo and fetus to grow. Every minute roughly a quarter of a million new neurons produce in an unborn baby. By the time the baby is born, they will then have over 100 billion neurons in the brain.

The fast growth of fetal brains is a significant reason why the lifestyle choices of the mother are incredibly detrimental to the well being of an unborn child. Not only is the brain responsible for motor functions, but intelligence, overall health, emotional well being, and so much more. Some believe that the mother is tired not because their bodies are supporting two humans, but because the rate of the baby's growth, especially its brain, is hugely consuming to the mother's body due to all the synapses developing.

Some causes that may happen if a pregnant woman chooses to live a rough lifestyle is the brain can end up forming clumps of brain matter outside of the mind, which actually can result in dyslexia, among other problems a child faces. One great example of this is fetal alcohol syndrome.

The brain is not only developing for the child to use it once it's born, but the child is already storing data and memories before the mother even begins labor. That's why a baby often will be soothed when they hear their mother's voice because they remember it from the womb. The brain is such an essential part of the human body, which is why the baby's brain is proportionately much larger in comparison to its body than that of an adult's brain.

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The Brain's Power

The brain has significant power even for a young embryo. Although your mind is only about 2% of your weight at three pounds, it uses about 20 percent of your body's energy. It is because of this that if you do not have enough sleep or have proper nutrition, your mood, your attitude, your energy, and even your motor responses are affected. It uses so much energy that the same amount could light a 25 watt light bulb. Although more impressively, the brain has more electrical impulses in one day than all the telephone poles in the whole world do!

Did you know that your brain can go from four to six minutes without oxygen before brain cells will begin dying? Not to say that the brain is not severely affected by the lack of oxygen. On any given minute, the brain absorbs 1/5 of a cup of oxygen in which it supplies to itself. Almost 95% of that oxygen goes to its gray matter, the rest to its white matter. The brain absorbs that oxygen from the nearly 1000 ml of blood that is pumped through it every minute, which is equal to about three soda cans full of blood. Once realized, it does not seem surprising that 10 percent of the cranial make-up consists of blood. If the brain has a lack of blood, a person will become unconscious in about 10 seconds.

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The Case of the Shrinking Brain

The human brain is not the largest of all minds in the animal kingdom; in fact, the elephant's brain is significantly larger than that of humans. Proportionately the human brain is considerably larger in proportion to its body. Also, our minds are 2 percent of our body weight, whereas an elephant's brain is only 0.15 percent of its body.

Your brain continues to grow until you are roughly 18, then around age 30, your mind will begin to shrink over time. Although you can still add connections in the brain, since every time you recall a memory or fact, you are causing a new link in your mind. Even learning new things can cause your brain to change physically. The brain will change within seven days of learning and continued practicing a new task, which is one good reason to try to take up new activities such as juggling, playing the piano, or a second language. People who are bilingual before the age of five have denser brain tissues.

Although many might assume that the smarter you are, the bigger your brain, Einstein's brain was smaller than the average brain. Interestingly enough, the portion that deals with math and spatial reasoning was about 15 percent wider than the average persons.

More Interesting Facts about the Brain

  • The brain does not have any pain receptors and, therefore, cannot feel pain.
  • It is so soft that one could cut it with a butter knife.
  • The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, and vice versa.
  • Your brain is most active during dreaming while you are asleep, not while you are awake.
  • You use more than 10 percent of your brain. Every part of the human brain does have a known function, and most of us do handle the whole matter.
  • Many scientists do not believe dreaming serves any real purpose, while others feel that we are reorganizing our cluttered minds during our dreams.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz

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