It can be confidently said that the human brain is the most complex machine in the observable universe. Even the most modern computers and the ones coming decades later could never match up the efficiency and efficacy with which our brain observes, comprehends and responds to our surroundings. The average adult human brain has the ability to store the equivalent of 2.5 million gigabytes digital memory. The human brain is indeed a marvel, with more capabilities than most of us can imagine. Below are 10 astounding facts which will surely blow your “brains” out.
1. Your brain’s storage capacity is considered virtually unlimited
Research suggests the human brain consists of about 86 billion neurons. Each neuron forms connections to other neurons, which could add up to 1 quadrillion (1,000 trillion) connections. Over time, these neurons can combine, increasing storage capacity. However, in dangerous diseases such as Alzheimer’s, many neurons can become damaged and stop working, particularly affecting memory.
2. Brain information travels up to an impressive 268 miles per hour:
Our brain is faster than Formula 1 race cars which top out at 240 mph since brain information travels up to an impressive 268 miles per hour. When a neuron is stimulated, it generates an electrical impulse that travels from cell to cell. Although, a disruption in this regular processing can cause an epileptic seizure.
3). The human brain can generate about 23 watts of power (enough to power a lightbulb):
Your brain contains about 100 billion microscopic cells called neurons—so many it would take you over 3,000 years to count them all. Believe it or not, the activity in your brain never stops. Countless messages zip around inside it every second like a supercharged pinball machine. Your neurons create and send more messages than all the phones in the entire world. And while a single neuron generates only a tiny amount of electricity, all your neurons together can generate enough electricity to power a low-wattage bulb.
4). Exercise helps make you smarter:
It is well known that any exercise that makes your heart beat faster, like running or playing basketball, is great for your body and can even help improve your mood. But scientists have recently learned that for a period of time after you’ve exercised, your body produces a chemical that makes your brain more receptive to learning. So if you’re stuck on a homework problem, go out and play a game of soccer, then try the problem again. You just might discover that you’re able to solve it.
5). Violent homes have the same effect on children’s brains as combat on soldiers:
Scientists carried out magnetic resonance imaging brain scans on 20 London children with an average age of 12 who had been exposed to documented violence at home. The children exposed to violence responded in a distinct way to angry faces, the study found. Their brains showed heightened activation in two regions associated with threat detection, the anterior insula and amygdala.Previous research has shown a similar pattern in the brains of soldiers exposed to violence combat situations. The scans suggest both combat veteran soldiers and children who witness violence tune their brains to be hyper-aware of environmental danger.
6). Forgetting is good for the brain:
Forgetting is necessary for maintaining a smarter and healthy brain. Without forgetting our brains would be inefficient because we would always be swamped with unnecessary and sometimes painful memories. Forgetting improves the flexibility of the brain by removing outdated and unnecessary information. Remembering things has a cost for memory, thus forgetting irrelevant things is a cost-saving process for your brain.
7). The brain treats rejection like physical pain:
The human brain treats rejection in a similar way to the way it processes physical pain, new research has suggested. A scientific study conducted by the University of Michigan Medical School has shown that the brain uses a similar reaction to ease the pain of social rejection as it does to deal with pain caused by physical injury.
8). A zombie apocalypse is actually possible:
Due to the new discovery of many brain parasites which can cause dangerous diseases, scientists now think a zombie apocalypse is actually possible. A parasite called toxoplasmosa gondii is known to infect the brains of rodents. The parasite can then manipulate the rodent’s behaviour to make it fearless around cats – where the parasite is hoping to end up. However, what worries scientists is how similar rats and humans are – which is why they are used for testing drugs and medical breakthroughs. It is already believed that half of humans around the world have a dormant version of the parasite on their brains in the form of harmless cysts.
9). Recovering from a break-up is like a kicking an addiction to a drug:
From looking at the brain scans of the broken-hearted, researchers found that recovering from a break-up is like kicking an addiction to a drug. “Romantic love is an addiction,” said Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University and author of the study. “My guess is that our modern addictions — nicotine, drugs, sex, gambling — are simply hijacking this ancient brain pathway that evolved millions of years ago, that evolved for romantic love. … The brain system evolved to focus your energy on an individual and start the mating process.”. “Nobody gets out of love alive,” Fisher said. “You turn into a menace or a pest when you’ve been rejected. That’s when people stalk or commit suicide. … There’s a very powerful brain system that has a dramatic effect on your entire life.”
10). Our brains like plotting revenge:
A 2004 study in the journal Science found that people plotting revenge experienced heightened activity in the brain’s reward centre. According to the study, “people derive satisfaction from punishing norm violations.” In a 2016 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers found that people who feel wronged (specifically, social rejection) feel the need to improve their gloomy mood by any means necessary. That includes “retaliatory aggression,” in this case sticking pins in a voodoo doll. And, guess what? Aggression works! Those who retaliated felt just as good as those who hadn’t been rejected in the first place.