There are 86 billion nerve cells, also known as neurons, in the human brain, and all of these neurons are in continual communication with one another. The constant chitchat is what causes you to wince when someone treads on your foot, laugh when they tell you a joke, and recall where you put your phone when you can’t find it.
The cerebrum is the most extensive component of the brain. When you think of the brain, the first thing that usually comes to mind are the creases and folds that it has. The cerebral cortex, the most superficial layer of what is most commonly referred to as “grey matter,” covers this portion of the brain. The cerebrum is the part of the brain that is responsible for higher-level activities, such as thinking, feeling, sensing, and acting. These creases and folds offer a larger surface area, which enables a greater quantity of information to be processed.
The brainstem serves as the primary connection between the brain and the spinal cord in your body. It regulates your breathing, as well as your heart rate and blood pressure. The cerebellum, on the other hand, resembles a wrinkled ball and is located at the back of the remainder of your brain. It does this by working with the sensory information received from the eyes, ears, and muscles to assist in movement coordination.
Researchers have managed to unearth a lot of fascinating secrets about the brain, despite the fact that the brain is an extremely difficult organ.
Previous research led scientists to conclude that puberty marked the end of brain development. Researchers have recently discovered that a person’s brain continues to mature long into their 20s. In point of fact, the frontal lobes, which are essential for both planning and controlling one’s impulses, are among the last portions of the brain to reach their full potential. It is not surprising that you may have made some poor decisions when you were a teenager, such as getting an embarrassing tattoo or having a run-in with the authorities.
The human brain does not reach its full potential until the twenties.
The brain continues to develop at a rapid pace well through the teen years. The parts of the brain that are accountable for things like memory, language, creativity, and attention are some of the ones that are still evolving.
Around the age of 11 for girls and 12 for boys is when grey matter growth reaches its peak. After you pass this stage, the prefrontal cortex, which is the area of your brain that is responsible for judgement, continues to mature and grow more developed.
Even while children already have some ability to regulate their impulses and are capable of planning and setting goals, their capacity to use these skills becomes more consistent as they become older. Therefore, you shouldn’t be too astonished if, long into your 20s, you find that your ability to make decisions has significantly improved.
The size of the brain decreases with age, and this process can be affected by a variety of circumstances.
After the age of 40, normal ageing causes a reduction in brain volume that occurs at a rate of approximately five percent every decade. Although there is no correlation between a decrease in brain volume and a lower IQ, the loss of brain volume can sometimes indicate a decline in cognitive ability. It has come to our attention that certain things that are within our control can hasten the process of brain shrinking.
In a study that was conducted in 2011 and published in the journal Neurology, researchers evaluated 1,352 healthy adults with an average age of 54 years old and determined their blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol levels. In addition to it, MRI scans of the subjects’ brains were performed. After ten years, the researchers remeasured the size of the participants’ brains and examined their ability to plan and organise their lives.
High blood pressure, diabetes, smoking cigarettes, and a growing waist-to-hip ratio were the four characteristics that the researchers discovered to be correlated with a smaller volume of brain tissue (a measure of how much abdominal fat a person is carrying). The alterations in brain structure were also found to be associated with a decline in both memory and reasoning abilities. According to the findings of the study, certain aspects of our lives that are within our control can have an impact on how sharp our wits remain as we become older.
We put much more than ten percent of our mental capacity to use.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a significant number of individuals continue to believe that we only use roughly 10 percent of our brains, given the number of books that are currently available on the subject. That is an urban legend. The honest reality is that we put every bit of it to use. Even when you believe that your brain is resting, such as when you sleep, it is actually hard at work processing everything that took place throughout the day and encoding the most significant information into memory. This occurs even when you believe that your brain is not working.
The concept of “the 10 percent” dates back to the early 1900s and was most likely popularised by a prominent psychologist named William James, who advocated the notion that individuals possess enormous latent mental potential. This urban legend was promulgated by a variety of individuals, including science fiction authors; it contributed to the growth of the self-help sector, and it continues to this day.
Obviously, there are always new things to learn and different ways of thinking to adopt. But the next time somebody attempts to sell you something that they say will unleash the latent potential of your brain, you might want to consider putting that money in your savings account instead. Your mental processes are already operating at maximum capacity.
There is no such thing as a left-brain versus right-brain sort of person.
It’s possible that you’re really good at solving mathematical puzzles, but your best friend is a phenomenal musician. However, contrary to what many people believe, this does not make you “left-brained” whereas your friend is considered to be “right-brained.”
It is correct to say that the human brain is divided into a right hemisphere and a left hemisphere. In the majority of people, speaking and some types of mathematical issues are handled by the lobes on the left side of the brain, whereas spatial thinking and the interpretation of music are handled by the right side of the brain. However, complex thought utilises both hemispheres of the brain, and there is very little evidence to suggest that one’s overall personality is dictated by either hemisphere of the brain more than the other.
Researchers from the University of Utah conducted a study in 2013 using brain scans of over 1,000 participants ranging in age from seven to 29 to determine whether or not people had a tendency to use one hemisphere of their brain more frequently than the other. After that, the researchers analysed the scans to determine which regions of the brain had the highest levels of activity. There was no evidence to suggest that one side was more dominant, let alone that there was a technique to anticipate who was more likely to go in a creative or logical path.
Your brain does not enjoy being in chilly temperatures.
Have you ever consumed something freezing cold, like ice cream or a beverage, and then suddenly felt a stabbing pain in your head?
The majority of people refer to this condition as an ice-cream headache or a brain freeze; nevertheless, there is a technical title for it called sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. Trying saying it with a scoop of ice cream in your mouth!
The severe discomfort can be brought on by either prolonged contact with something cold, such as drinking or eating something very cold very quickly, or by putting your head in extremely cold temperatures for an extended period of time.
Here are the reasons why scientists believe it takes place: The roof of your mouth is relatively close to the arteries that supply blood to your brain. They automatically contract in order to keep your body heat in when you consume something cold, such as water or coffee. Then they expand their pupils. This sudden re-expansion triggers a pain signal to be sent to your brain through a nerve known as the trigeminal, which results in a sharp and sudden increase in discomfort throughout your face and forehead. The so-called “brain freeze” rarely lasts longer than a couple of minutes, which is a blessing.
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