10 Interesting Psychological Facts About the Brain

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The human brain is an evolutionary miracle. The complexities of the human brain are beyond comprehension. It is pretty safe to assume this because no other species on the planet has traveled to the moon and back or has designed quantum computers. But, what makes the brain so special? Let us dig into some interesting facts about the human brain to find out!

Watching a movie is just an illusion!

By now, we all know that videos are just composed of hundreds of frames that move really quickly to create motion. However, the brain cannot tell that these are not individual frames. So how does that work? Well, the brain cannot turn on and off quickly between frames and it sees things for a longer period of time than our eyes do, which is known as “persistence of vision”, which creates the illusion that we are looking at smooth motion.

The brain can speed up or slow down things.

No, you are not The Flash. Sometimes when we are in negative or stressful situations, our brain’s resources are quickly redirected to making memories. These memories are richer in detail which when replayed, makes us think that these experiences lasted longer than they did. Sometimes, when we are stuck with routines and do not have new experiences, our brain works slower in making memories, causing us to think that time moves by slowly. We call that boredom.

Afraid to speak out?

Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Most people prefer to “text” things rather than say it in person. Why? Psychologists believe that this is because we feel a space between us and the receiver, thereby creating an illusion we are removed from reality.

What’s the RAM size on this one?

The brain has enough capacity to store upto 2.5 petabytes of information (almost a million gigabytes or just enough space to store over three million hours of your favorite tv shows).
Let’s just say that we will never have a storage issue. Ever.

Sweating can shrink the brain!

Since the brain is mostly made up of water, dehydration can make it shrink or have as much effect as a year of aging! But don’t worry, it is only temporary. As long as you replenish the lost fluids, all will be well.

Wow, heavy much?

The average brain weighs around 1.3 kgs and it is mostly made up of water. It constitutes upto 73% of the brain’s composition!

What relations could cooking food and the human brain have?

Cooking allowed us to transition from primitive apes to the more complex humans that we are today. By discovering how to cook food, our brains and body sizes doubled in comparison to that of our ancestors such as australopithecus. So why did we start cooking? Our ancestors realized that cooked food was less chewier, more nutrient-dense and could be stored for longer periods of time!

You’re greedy, brain!

The human brain uses upto 20% of the total oxygen in a body and over 30 % of the blood pumped by the heart is used by the brain. Basically, a spoiled and demanding little brat.

Like to test how long you can hold your breath?

Well, some scientists tested the same on the human brain and found out that the brain won’t survive for more than five minutes without oxygen.

The brain is a power plant of sorts.

Your brain generates enough electricity to power a small light bulb. That is, roughly between 12 to 25 watts of electricity. Human brains have over 86 billion neurons that are interacting with each other at all times to create a complex network. But everything you see, interact with, think, speak or even dream are all created by, you guessed it, electricity. Shocking, isn’t it?

The human brain is super fast.

Neurons in the brain transmit information at around 150-270 mph – fast enough to put a race car to shame.

“I drank so much last night that I don’t remember anything!”

The thing is, alcohol impedes the brain’s ability to form memories. This means that the person never really forgot what happened when they were drunk – the memory just never formed!

The whole “You only use 10% of your brain” claim is not true.

This is a myth that has been associated with the human brain for quite some time due to certain incorrect representations in popular culture. In reality, we use virtually all of our brain at all times, which even includes the times we are asleep!

Ever wondered why the brain is in the head?

It is because as organisms evolved, most of our sensory organs clustered around the area through which they ingested food. As more organs began to cluster together, so did more and more nerves, marking the beginning of a brain.

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