Human brain – an utterly intricate organ with utmost importance
Human brain is a part of central nervous system along with spinal cord in our body which is responsible for processing of signals from all parts of the body and then commanding actions with a ton of other functions as well. Memory storage, abstract thinking, voluntary and involuntary behaviour, personality development, speech producing and vision processing, the list can go on forever. The buzzing question is how does the brain manage everything with its complex fashioned anatomy. As we unravel the working of the brain we come across its abilities, limitations and a bunch of interesting facts that most people get wrong or don’t know in the first place.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 most intrigued facts of the human brain
10.Multitasking is a myth
We are leading such busy lives that 24 hours are certainly not enough so we go for multiple things at a single time but it will be very disheartening to know that our brain does not allow multitasking. Neurological science has confirmed that the human brain can only focus on one thing at a time.
Though the brain can switch its focus rapidly and that’s what we do in our everyday life. We keep switching on different activities until we get them done but you will be amazed to know that either way it is not helping. Switching rapidly comes with an increased probability of errors and thus it will take even more to do a single task during switching as compared to doing it alone. So try to go for one task at a time with a sharp focus rather than messing it all up.
9.Halfway to the moon
This is one of those weird crazy facts that can blow your mind. The human brain is extremely rich in blood vessels but it will surprise you that if we stretch all the blood vessels and join them end to end then they will lead up to halfway to the moon which is around 120,000 miles. It shows that the brain is comprised of a vast network of blood vessels forming a complex structure.
8.The brain is immune to pain
There are some specific receptors called nociceptors which are stimulated when we are hurt by something. They are present in all the possible locations of the body like muscles, skin, joints, and some organs too. These nociceptors send signals to the brain which process it as a painful experience and takes action accordingly.
The fun part is the brain itself does not carry any nociceptors which means there is nobody in the brain to experience and react in painful conditions. It explains why many neurosurgeons can do surgery when a patient is awake or how they do not cause any trouble during brain tissue-related operations.
7.Brain in love
We all have heard of epic love tales, those sagas of eternal love, about fast heartbeats and butterflies in the stomach but ever wonder? What does happen to your brain in love, how the brain reacts to this overwhelming feeling. Well, the brain is the root of all emotions in our body from hunger, pain to love so when somebody is in love, the brain releases heavy doses of dopamine and norepinephrine. Both are happy hormones, produce a feeling of pleasure and excitement.
The brain’s part Caudate Nucleus become active during this time which is a neural correlate of strong feelings like romantic attachments and love. Moreover, dopamine is also a hormone that releases during drug consumption so excessive love can be like an addiction therefore heartbreaks cause the same pain and trouble as if overcoming drug addiction.
6.Brain endless capacity to store
Ever wondered? How much can we store it in our brain? We learn kinds of stuff throughout our lives, make memories and have gained so much information but what will happen if we could not retain it? Luckily, there are no such boundaries. Our brain has enormous space to store every piece of our puzzle life.
We cannot call it infinite but it’s not a limitation either, our brain has memory storage up to a million gigabytes and we can learn as much we want because the human brain is composed of many trillions of synapses to store the information.
5.The sleepless brain
Sleep deprivation is so common in our generation. 8 or 9 hours of sleep is crucial for a healthy body and happy mind but in such a hasty life, sleeping hours have reduced significantly. How does the brain deal with prolonged sleepless hours?
Lack of sleep can affect the brain’s function of memory storage and decision making, induces moody irrational behavior. These are general side effects but majorly sleep deprivation takes us one step closer to neurodegenerative diseases.
What is it exactly mean? Sleeping hours are meant to dump waste like insoluble proteins by the brain. If we don’t sleep enough then the process of clearing out waste get disturbed and leads to the accumulation of some proteins like amyloid-beta and tau which causes neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease causes impairment of memory and other vital brain functions.
4.Short term memory of the brain
Have you ever been into a situation that something crossed your mind but before you could spit it out, you got distracted for a moment and then completely forgot about it? Well, this is a common phenomenon and happens for a reason.
Our brain has a specific location called short term memory for keeping such stuff before it decays. Short-term memory does not last very long just for few seconds like 20 to 30 seconds and then it vanishes if not rehearsed. That’s the reason why we tend to forget something that we were about to say.
3. Cognitive reserve
Cognitive reserve is the ability of the human brain to deal with situations and adopting effective improvised ways of getting your job done. It is a reserve of knowledge, skills, learnings that a person gathers throughout their life to cope up with terrible challenges.
The stronger the cognitive reserve the tougher you are to manage your life problems. The best part is you can build or strengthen your cognitive reserve by learning new stuff, educating yourself every day, giving some time to brainstorming activities, social networking and many more other things that can architect your cognitive reserve well.
2. Creativity kicks in when you are tired
This fact might sound absurd but it’s true fatigue and creativity shares a close association. It can be explained that when we are tired than our brain’s filter also goes for a doze off and consequently a string of thoughts can pave its path into our mind which with filters on might seem unnecessary but these loose thoughts are the sources of creative ideas.
Creativity is usually born out of simple things when looked at with a unique perspective that’s when a fatigued mind becomes quite useful.
1.Stress shrinks your mind
This is literal! Stress is an unavoidable problem but the longer the duration the more damage to your brain. Stress can reduce your brain size as it feeds on grey matter present in your brain.
The brain reacts to stress by releasing a stress hormone called cortisol. For a brief period, it has its perks but prolonged exposure to it has severe consequences. A too high amount of cortisol disastrously affects two major parts of the brain hippocampus meant for learning and memorizing and the prefrontal cortex – the center for all sorts of emotions, thoughts and actions.