Everyone will agree that the walnut-shaped organ inside our heads is more complicated than we estimate it to be. The more we learn about the human brain, the more intrigued we are, and the more we feel we don’t understand it. Despite the fact that the brain has shrunk since Neanderthals, there are some concrete facts that science has established about this powerhouse of an organ that in no way indicate it to be inferior to our predecessors.
1. Your Brain Feels No Pain
While the brain serves as a translator of pain, telling us that we need to pay attention to a particular part of our body, it does not feel pain itself. The covering of the brain (meninges) and skull (periosteum) bear pain receptors, but the brain itself lacks them. This is why brain surgeries can be performed while a patient is conscious. He or she won’t feel a thing!
2. Your Brain Is The Fattiest Organ
Being nearly 60% fat and giving serious competition to the liver and pancreas, the human brain is the fattiest organ of the body. This makes the dietary intake of essential fatty acids (EFAs) all the more necessary as your body cannot synthesize them and your brain’s integrity and performance depends on it.
3. Your Brain Uses The Same Power As A Bulb
The brain demands 20% of the body’s resting metabolic rate (RMR)—the energy we spend doing nothing—to make sure your body is running right. This works up to about 25 watts of power. That is enough to light up a low wattage LED bulb.
4. Your Brain Is Highly Susceptible To Dehydration
Being approximately three-fourths water, the brain needs you to guzzle down that H2O more than you realize. 2% dehydration is all it takes for your attention and short-term memory to take a hit. So, don’t compromise on your daily water intake.
5. An Hour And A Half Of Sweating Can Shrink Your Brain
While we all know that exercise is what your body needs despite some false rumors going around, 90 minutes of sweating can cause your brain to shrink away from your skull ad interim as much as a year of aging would. It is no surprise considering the brain is 73% water. So while you may be happy about dropping some pounds, if you don’t drink enough water, you’ll be dropping your IQ as well.
6. Your Brain Keeps Developing Till You’re 25
If you’re on the good side of 25, your brain is probably still developing. It is only after you reach about the quarter century mark that your brain reaches its full maturity.
7. Your Average Attention Span Is Less Than That Of A Goldfish
As unflattering as it is to be compared to our piscean ancestors, the average attention span of the human brain falls a second short at 8 seconds compared to that of gold fish at 9 seconds. This may have to do with our multi-tasking demanding lifestyles that do not allow us to focus on one activity for too long.
8. Crash Dieting Can Cause Your Brain To Eat Itself
Starvation (an integral part of many a fad diet) creates a dearth of energy in the brain. As desperate times call for desperate measures, hunger-inducing neurons in the brain go down a path of self-destruction as a coping mechanism. In simpler words, your brain exhibits cannibalism.
9. Your Brain Cannot Form Memories When You Are Drunk
Morning afters always leave us fuzzy of how things went down the previous night. There’s a reason you don’t remember much after a drunken episode. It’s simply cause you didn’t create memories in the first place. So, it’s not that you have forgotten but that your brain is incapable of forming new-long term memories under the influence of alcohol.
10. You Take Most Decisions Subconsciously
As much as we’d like to think that a lot of thought has gone into all our life’s decisions, a whopping 95% of our decisions are made in our subconscious mind. What that essentially means is you reason (subconsciously) without even knowing you are.
So, the next time you second guess the capacity of your brain, take refuge in the fact that it is evolutionarily designed to bring out the best in you.