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15 Scientific Facts About The Brain

The brain is perhaps the most powerful organ in the body. It tells us what to do. Literally controls every single action we take. Movement, sleep, you name it but you would be amazed by just how much more there is to this powerful organ. In recent times, scientists have discovered so much about the brain and dispelled certain myths or misconceptions people had. So here are fifteen scientific facts about the brain.

1. The brain actually only reaches full maturity when one turns twenty-five

Ever wondered why babies have big heads? Well, the reason for that is as easy as, it needs to be that big to facilitate the growth of the brain. Very interesting that a two-year-old child has a brain that is about eighty percent of an adult’s and it is worth noting that it is only up to the time one turns twenty-five that their brain becomes fully mature. So yes, a teenager still has their brain growing. That said, parents are encouraged to let their children read out loud as this facilitates their brain development. They are also encouraged to talk loudly to their children, as weird as it may sound to enable the same. Note also, that the brain of a child who is learning to play a musical instrument can develop to a further extent than that of a child who is not.

2. Sweating causes brain shrinkage, jet lag can damage it

When you sweat for about ninety minutes, your brain could actually shrink, but no worries, it’s only temporary. Sweating temporarily causes as much shrinkage as a year of aging does. Jet lag on the other hand, when frequent, damages the temporal lobe. It releases stress hormones that can damage the brain altogether. Definitely not such great news to people who often travel a lot using planes but it really is a fact.

3. Alcohol never makes the brain forget anything

For those people who run to alcohol in the hope to forget certain things, there is some sad news for you. Alcohol never actually makes you forget a thing. It is common practice for stressed or hurt people to turn to alcohol with the belief that it will take whatever caused the stress or hurt away from their minds but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. It just makes your brain lose its ability to make memories temporarily when you black out. So that is why when you come to, everything comes back to you. This does make people go back to the alcohol because it could turn off that part they would like to forget for just a while but it will just bring about addiction but no permanent solution.

4. It is actually impossible to multitask

Shocker right? People, mostly women will always say they are multitasking but truth be told, they are usually just context switching. In simple terms, that just means we are not always doing different tasks at the same time but more of, we are usually switching very quickly, back and forth between them. Apparently, multitasking would just increase your error rate by up to 50% and would see you take longer to accomplish the tasks you are working on.

5. The brain is the most fatty part of the human body and actually needs cholesterol

Sixty percent of the brain’s dry weight is actually fat and the weight of an adult’s brain is three pounds. While cholesterol is majorly not a good thing to have in excess, seeing the number of risks it makes one susceptible to, it is a very integral part of the brain. In large amounts, cholesterol does make you susceptible to heart attacks, strokes, among other complications but you do need some of it for development of certain cells, like those in the brain. An inadequate amount of cholesterol in the brain will kill the brain cells. Twenty five percent of body cholesterol actually stays in the brain.

6.Aging reduces the brain’s ability to absorb new ideas

The reason why older people have trouble remembering things is that their brain is unable to both filter and remove memories that have stuck with them for some time and is subsequently unable to take in new ideas and memories. That would be a good explanation for why elderly people always seem to stick too much to their ways of doing things regardless of how outdated or conservative they may look.

7.The amount of blood flow to the brain in a minute is enough to fill a litre soda bottle

In sixty seconds, blood flow through the brain is 750-1000 millilitres. When this supply is suddenly stopped, the brain starts losing consciousness after about 8-10 seconds. That said, there are so many blood vessels in the brain that if you were to spread them all out, they would go up to 120,000 miles.

8. The brain can only go a maximum of 5-6 minutes without oxygen

Any time over this will cause it to die and will subsequently cause brain damage. Actually, despite making up just two percent of the total body weight, it uses up to twenty percent of the entire body’s oxygen intake and we might just add an equal percentage of its energy. That is why people who survive drowning will usually suffer from brain damage. An insufficient supply of oxygen could cause fainting.

9. Water forms the most part of your brain.

Who knew right? Apparently, it only takes a small amount of dehydration, even as small as just two percent dehydration for your memory and attention, among other cognitive skills to be affected. Doctors and nutritionists have been advising people to take water for a number of reasons since time immemorial, all obviously health related, mostly touching on other body parts but you will agree that not too many think of the brain when they think of water benefits. The water percentage in the brain is actually seventy-three percent so always make sure you stay hydrated to maintain its normal functioning.

10. The brain actually generates electricity

How much you may ask. Well, about twelve to twenty-five watts which if you do not know is just about enough to power a single light bulb of low wattage. You should also be aware that just a simple change in power will have an impact on how your brain operates.  

11. The speed with which information travels in the brain is 268 miles an hour.

If you have watched Formula One race cars operate, you might find it interesting that the brain information travel speed is actually more than that of the race cars, which travel at 240 miles per hour compared to 268 miles an hour in the brain. In addition to how fast information travels, note that in just a single day, your brain can generate up to 50,000 thoughts on average.

12.The brain can operate faster than a computer

I bet you already knew this right? What you might not know is that the human brain can compute 10th to the 13th operations and 10th to the 16th in just one mere second. It processes so fast that its processing ability allows it to process an image faster than the time it takes you to blink. It can do this even for an image your eye has seen for a figure as low as 13milliseconds.

13. Neurons in the brain can transmit one thousand nerve impulses in a second

Get this, up to 100,000 neurons can be contained in brain tissue as small as a grain of sand. That is pretty much the same number of stars contained in the Milky Way galaxy. These neurons communicate with a billion synapses that are also contained in the tissue. The number of nerve impulses transmitted in a second by these neurons is 1000.

14. Our working memory can only hold a maximum of seven digits

We happen to have a form of memory that is short term. The working memory that will often store an idea or ideas for just long enough for us to comprehend them.

15. We have about 86 billion brain cells

The brain is made up of a variety of cells, all different in nature with there being an estimated ten thousand neuron types. It is estimated that we have around eighty-six billion cells in our brains. It is impossible to summarize everything about the brain as there is always bound to be more information explaining why the brain works the way it does being discovered by scientists.Meanwhile, these fifteen facts should help you understand more about your brain for now. In summary, we can call it the body’s computer in just simple terms, although as has been mentioned, it isn’t like your ordinary computer. It works better and much faster than those.That is what makes it so powerful.  


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