Crazy Facts About The Human Brain

5 Crazy Facts About The Human Brain

Despite the distance to the edge of the observable universe being a massive 46 billion light years, there is no known structure more complex than the human brain. For many decades, scientists have studied this amazing organ with the goal of unlocking its many mysteries. Unfortunately, there are still more questions than answers. Luckily, the research continues.

most complex structure

This post will consist of 5 crazy facts on the Universe’s most complicated object. Some are hard to believe. To back up our facts, each will contain at least one link to the source.

#1 Starved Brain Cells Will Eat Themselves

brain cells

The term is “autophagy.” According to News Medical Life Sciences, autophagy is a word of Greek origin. The two Greek words are “auto” meaning self, and “phagy” meaning eating.

Essentially, food deprivation causes brain cells to literally eat pieces of themselves. For the purpose of fighting off starvation, self-cannibalism prompts the brain to eat. This explains why many find it difficult to stick to a diet. If you don’t eat, your brain will virtually force you to.

#2 New Experiences Can Trick Your Brain Into Thinking Time Is Moving Slowly

new experiences can make time seem slower

The older we get, the more it seems that time is going by faster and faster. The good news is that the brain doesn’t perceive time like a ticking clock does. When the brain receives new information, it takes more time to process. In order for the information to be understood, it must be sorted and organized. Therefore, new experiences will make time appear to last longer.

To the contrary, when the brain receives information that is familiar, it takes very little time to process. According to neuroscientist David Eagleman, the more familiar the world around us becomes, the less information your brain writes down, resulting in time seeming to pass by quickly.

Slow Down Time With New Information

If you want to live a life that feels longer, perhaps the answer is to frequently engage in new experiences. Not only will it make time appear to last longer, but it could also make life more fulfilling.

#3 The Brain Of Homosexuals Resemble The Brain Of Heterosexuals Of The Opposite Sex

Gay Men And Straight Women Have Similar Brains

In June of 2008, the results of a brain study went viral. Many popular news websites (such as National Geographic) shared the findings using the title “Gay Men, Straight Women Have Similar Brains” for their article. Brain scans revealed that the brains of homosexuals tend to resemble those of heterosexuals of the opposite sex. The similarities include brain structures that are involved with emotion, mood, anxiety and aggression.

A Similarity Between Heterosexual Men And Homosexual Women

Heterosexual men tend to have asymmetric brains. The right hemisphere is slightly larger than the left. This is a characteristic that is shared by homosexual women.

A Similarity Between Heterosexual Women And Homosexual Men

Particularly in areas involved with anxiety, patterns of brain connectivity are similar between heterosexual women and homosexual men.

#4 The Brain Can’t Multitask

multitasking

Multitasking as we know it is just a myth. Of course, one might argue and say they can talk on the phone, check some emails and also send instant messages on Facebook simultaneously.
However, although the brain can quickly transition between tasks, what you may call “multitasking” is actually just “task-switching.” Interestingly, when you quickly switch tasks, what you are doing is decreasing your mental performance, as well as your productivity.

The Bottom Line

According to neuroscientist Earl Miller, when it comes to doing more than one thing at a time, humans aren’t that great at it. He says that when they say they are great at it, they’re actually deluding themselves. Although the human brain has the ability to quickly shift from task to task, we still cannot focus on more than one thing at a time.

#5 The Belief That Most Humans Use Only 10% Of Their Brains Is A Myth

10 percent of the brain myth

Contrary to popular belief, humans use more than just 10% of their brains. The idea that humans use such a small amount is nothing but a widely perpetuated urban legend. According to a study conducted by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, 65 percent of Americans believe the myth is true. If you are familiar with this myth and believe it, you may have tried to imagine the possibilities if only humans could use all of their brain. Look at what we have accomplished using just 10%. Imagine what we could achieve using 100%?

The fact is that the brain is a incredibly complex network of tissue that is active 24 hours a day, seven days a week. According to Neurologist Barry Gordon, humans use virtually every single part of their brains. He also explains that most of the brain is active almost all the time.

Who Started This Silly Legend?

It remains unclear where the false claim that most humans only use 10% of their brains came from exactly. However, the myth has been linked to American psychologist and author William James. In his book The Energies of Men, James said: “We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources.” Perhaps, the person with the biggest influence to the myth is journalist Lowell Thomas, who later revived James’ assertion.

In his foreword to the 1936 self-help bible How To Win Friends And Influence People, Thomas said: “Professor William James of Harvard used to say that the average person develops only 10 percent of his latent mental ability.”

Albert Einstein young

The origins of the false claim have also been linked to theoretical physicist Albert Einstein. There is a unsubstantiated claim that Einstein had once explained his own brilliance by reference to the myth.

So the next time someone tries to tell you that humans use no more than 10% of their brain power, you can now tell them that they are wrong. Humans use 100% of their brains!

Final Thoughts

According to well-known famous physicist Michio Kaku, scientists have learned more about the human brain in just the last 10 to 15 years than in all of human history combined. As long as technology continues to advance, imagine what we will know in the next 10 to 15 years. It is unlikely we will ever fully understand the most compact thing the universe has ever seen. 

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About Kirin Johnson

Kirin Johnson is a blogger, CNA and caregiver for adults with disabilities. She is currently pursuing a career in nursing. Kirin enjoys expressing her knowledge on a variety of odd topics (especially insects, animals and unusual websites) through blogging.