10 Interesting Facts About The Brain
Works Harder While Asleep
Sleep follows a pattern of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) for every 90 minutes. During the REM phase, the brain receives more energy and stays very active. Typically, dreams occur during the REM phase.
Faster Than a Racing Car
The information travels to and from the brain through the nerve cells or neurons at different speeds. Sometimes, the information can travel as fast as 268 miles per hour, making it faster than a racing car!
Wrap Around the Earth
The axon is a long nerve fibre used for transmitting messages from a neuron to other neurons or to the body tissues. It is estimated that the brain contains about 100 billion neurons and approximately 100,000 miles of axons that could wrap around the earth four times!
Brain Can Feel No Pain
The brain itself doesn’t have any pain receptors. Performing surgery on the brain would not result in any pain. However, the brain is still involved in sensing the pain through the nerve system. When a body part that has the pain receptors undergoes injury, the impulse is carried through the nerve to the brain to detect pain.
According to the researchers, 60 percent of the fat in a human body is accumulated in the brain, making it the fattest organ in the body. The brain needs fat for proper functioning, and any reduced level of fat might result in neurological disorders.
Brain vs. Tofu
The human brain contains Cephaline that is typically found in soybean. It is said that the human brain has the same consistency as tofu or Chinese cheese that is made from the soybean milk. Just like soft tofu, the human brain contains about 75 percent of water, further adding to this similarity.
Powering a Light Bulb
There are 100 billion neurons present in the brain with each neuron generating a tiny amount of electricity. When the electricity from all the neurons is combined, that is enough to power up a 25 watt light bulb.
Size Doesn’t Make You Smarter
A large brain doesn’t necessarily make one smarter. Human intelligence depends on the organization of the brain and the molecular activity at the synapses, and not the size. In fact, Einstein had a relatively smaller brain, yet he had a higher IQ, and is considered as one of the most intelligent scientists of all time.
Pregnancy and Shrinking Brain
It has been discovered that pregnancy actually causes the brain to shrink, although it comes back to normalcy postpartum. The hormonal alterations during pregnancy seem to be the reason for this shrinkage. Apart from the shrinkage, some of the cognitive functions also seem to take a hit during the pregnancy.
Even though the brain represents only 2% of the total body weight, it uses 20% of the oxygen and the calories used by the human body, irrespective of the cognitive and motoric activities. The oxygen is so important to the brain that the lack of oxygen for 5 to 10 minutes could result in permanent brain damage.