10 Interesting Facts About the Human Mind That You May Not Know
How much do you know about the mind and brain?
Did you know that your brain isn’t fully developed until you’re 25 years old, or that your brain is able to power a lightbulb? Scientists and healthcare professionals have studied the brain extensively, leading to an explosion of new and updated information about it.
Here are an additional ten interesting facts about the human mind that you may not know:
1. The brain weighs about three pounds and can shrink.
Approximately 60% of the brain’s dry weight is fat, although 73% of the overall brain is made up of water. Your brain requires hydration, just as your muscles and other organs do, and 90 minutes of constant sweating can cause a shrinkage of the brain that equates to a year of aging.
2. It requires a constant supply of oxygen.
When you think about the importance of oxygen, you might think about your lungs and muscles, but the brain also requires a constant oxygen supply. A lack of oxygen for as little as five minutes can cause the death of multiple brain cells, which can lead to major brain damage.
Related: 5 Ways to Rest and Refresh Your Brain
3. Information travels to and from the brain at 250 miles per hour.
With billions of neurons at work, information can travel into and out of the brain at incredible speeds. Moving at 250 miles per hour, information is moving faster than any race car driver. Formula 1 racers have topped out at 240 miles per hour.
4. The mind contains billions of brain cells.
Although the exact number of brain cells isn’t known, researchers do know that the brain contains billions of cells. All of these cells are hard at work, transmitting signals to the various parts of the body and processing sensory inputs.
5. It doubles in size within the first year of life.
When a baby is born, their brain size is approximately a little less than a quarter the size of the average adult brain. However, in the first year, it doubles in size and continues growing at a rapid pace.
By age five, a child’s brain reaches about 90% of the size it will be in adulthood. According to a study performed by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, a baby who receives maternal or paternal reassurance during times of stress will have a physically larger hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for stress modulation and memory.
So new parents, give your babies plenty of love and reassurance, especially during stressful times to aid in better brain development.
6. The brain cannot do more than one task at a time.
Productivity is an important factor for many people who try to complete multiple tasks at the same time. However, the human brain can’t concentrate on two things at once, nor can it learn more than one thing at a time.
It can toggle back and forth between tasks but doing so can actually decrease your productivity as it’s been linked to a decline in overall mental performance and attention span.
7. Most people don’t use 10% of our brain capacity.
Have you heard the rumor that humans only use 10% of their brain capacity? Researchers have found that it’s a myth – you use most of the capacity of your brains, even when you’re sleeping.
8. The brain feels no pain.
Although pain is processed through the brain, the organ itself feels no pain. You might think that brain freeze is a pain experienced by the brain, but that pain emanates from the roof of your mouth. Thankfully, a brain freeze doesn’t cause your brain cells to freeze, as that would cause them to rupture.
9. Introvert and extrovert brains have physical differences.
MRI results have shown measurable differences between the brains of introverts and extroverts. In the brain of an extrovert, the dopamine reward network is more active. In the introvert’s brain, more grey matter is present.
10. Memories can change over time.
Despite the brain’s incredible capabilities, the memories formed within it can be surprisingly unreliable and change over time. Context, emotions, motivation, cues, and frequency of remembering can all impact whether your memories are accurate.
Related: 15 Interesting Facts About the Human Body