In human, the brain is the command center of the nervous system. It receives input from the sensory organs and sends output to the muscles. It is located inside the skull of the head and is protected by a bony structure in the skull called cranium. The three membranes called meninges surround the brain and protect it. The space between meninges is filled with a cerebro spinal fluid which helps the brain from mechanical shocks. Cranial nerves arise from the brain.
It is divided into three parts, forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. The forebrain consists mainly of cerebrum, which is the main thinking part of the brain. Midbrain doesn’t have any further division and hindbrain consists of pons, cerebellum and medulla. The function of hindbrain is to control reflex movements of head, neck and trunk in response to visual and auditory stimuli. It also controls the reflex movements of the eye muscles. This article deals with some interesting facts about the brain, which may be you don’t have studied till now.
1. Our brain uses 20% of its total energy and oxygen intake and 25 percent of the glucose (sugars) circulating in our bloodstream. It is about 2% of body’s weight, i.e. it weighs 3 pounds, of which its dry weight is 60% fat, making it the fattiest organ.
2. According to Scientists the brain is more active at night than in the day. Roughly, it consists of about 100 billion neuron cells.
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3. Amazing is that the brains have shrunk about 9 cubic inches, i.e. 150 cubic centimetres from an average of about 82 cubic inches, i.e. 1350 cm3 according to the University of Wisconsin at Madison paleoanthropologist John Hawks.
4. During pregnancy neurons multiply more quickly that is more than 200,000 neurons per minute.
5. Strange, brain damage can be caused only in 5 minutes without oxygen.
6. Do you know that brain generates 12-25 watt electricity, which will be enough to power a low wattage LED light.
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7. Wrinkles make brain sharper. Isn’t it strange? The surface of the brain is known as cerebral cortex, which consists some convulated deep fissures, small grooves known as sulci and ridges known as gyri. Also, it is a home of about 100 billion nerve or neuron cells.
The meandering and folded surface allows the brain to pack in more surface area, thus more processing power into the limited confines of the skull. Also, researched proved that dolphins have more wrinkles in the brain than in humans.
8. Do you know that mostly in the brain, cells are not neurons? Neurons make only 10% of brain cells. Half the brain’s weight, i.e. 90% is glia which is called ‘glue’ in Greek. According to neuroscientists glia is simply a sticky stuff that holds neurons together. A 2005 paper in the journal Current Opinions in Neurobiology laid out the roles of these glia cells, which provide immune protection to promote and modulate synapse growth and function.
9. We are not left-brained or right-brained. It is wrongly said. We are ‘whole brained’.
10. For our brain to do multi tasking is impossible. Generally, we are encouraged to do multi-tasking, but actually it is that we are doing various works at the same time which can’t be justified.
This is explained in the book Brain Rules that how multi-tasking can be detrimental. Research shows your error rate goes up 50 percent and it takes you twice as long to do things. When the brain tries to do two things at once, it divides and conquers, dedicating one-half of our gray matter to each task.
From the above article we come to know more about the human brain like its weight, function, from what it is made up of, why it is shrinking etc.