Advertisement

The visual areas of the brain are in the very back

The visual areas of the brain are in the very back
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

These brain facts might sound counterintuitive, considering your eyes are in the very front of your head, but the part of your brain responsible for vision, the occipital lobe, is located in the very back. “Bang someone on the back of the head and they will see stars, not sounds,” says Henry Soper, MD, clinical psychology faculty member in the School of Psychology at Fielding Graduate University. Similarly, the left side of your brain controls the vision on your right side and vice versa. The same goes for how our brain processes sound – on opposite sides of the head. “Although evolutionary theories have been proposed, the bottom line is we really do not know why,” Dr. Soper says.

See if you can master these 5 fun but challenging brain teasers.

Brain scans can “light up” when a person is in love

Brain scans can “light up” when a person is in love
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Some may think that being “in love” is only an idea or merely a term people use, but brain scans reveal otherwise. “For people who are romantically in love, functional MRI brain scans can show activity where dopamine, the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter, is present,” says Dr. McQuiston. “Other areas in the brain associated with pleasure and reward can also show greater activity for people who have fallen in love.”

Your brain activity is as unique as your fingerprints

Your brain activity is as unique as your fingerprints
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Research published in the journal Nature Neuroscience suggests that a person’s brain activity may be as unique as his or her own fingerprints. To reach their conclusion, scientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to create “connectivity profiles”, which allowed researchers to identify the brain activity of more than 100 individuals. “Learning about individual brain connections offered scientists specific insights about an individual’s intelligence or personality,” explains Dr. McQuiston. “This could have implications for how scanning brains might be used in the future to one day help individualise care for each unique person.”

Your brain is smaller than your ancestors’

Your brain is smaller than your ancestors’
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

This might be one of the scariest of these brain facts when you really think about it, but paleoanthropological research proves that our brains are shrinking. Skeletal evidence from every inhabited continent backs up this theory. Some scientists suggest that this may be related to the fact that the average body size of humans has also shrunk in size over the last 10,000 years. “A larger body requires a larger nervous system, so, as our bodies grew smaller, so did our brains in response,” suggests Donald Krieff, DO, a board-certified neurosurgeon.

Just how smart can we get? Find out how far we can push our bodies.

The brain has more cell types than any other body tissue

The brain has more cell types than any other body tissue
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Unlike the liver or certain muscles in our body where most of the cells are the same type, the brain is composed of a variety of complicated, interconnected types of cells, one being neurons, explains Hermona Soreq, professor of molecular neuroscience at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences.

Find out the health myths that make doctors cringe.

Your brain could power a small light bulb

Your brain could power a small light bulb
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

That’s right, when you’re awake, your brain produces enough electricity to power a small light bulb. According to computer scientists at Stanford University, a robot with a processor that is virtually as intelligent as the human brain would require at least 10 megawatts of electricity to operate properly. “Neurons in the brain do make enough electricity to run a light bulb – 100 billions cells generate this amount of energy,” explains Brock. And the brain works fast, too – so fast that it’s speedier than the world’s greatest computer. “The information going to your brain from your arms and legs travels at 150 miles (240km) per hour.”

Think Einstein was smart? Here are 8 people with higher IQs.

Advertisement

The brain waves of musicians can synchronise when performing

The brain waves of musicians can synchronise when performing
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

There’s a scientific reason why your favourite bands and musicians blend together harmoniously. A team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany, used electrodes to record the brain waves of 16 pairs of guitarists as they played the same musical sequence. Even though the two individuals in each pair played different parts, their brain waves synchronised. “This study suggests that there’s a neural blueprint for coordinating actions with others,” explains Brock. “Brainwaves, neurochemicals and some say even heartbeats, start to sync and become similar in those singing together or in choirs.”

“Brain freeze” is your brain recognising a temperature drop

“Brain freeze” is your brain recognising a temperature drop
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

It’s true! In an effort to save you from freezing to death, your brain leaps into action when it senses a drop in temperature on your palate. “Your brain quickly increases blood pressure in an effort to tell you to slow down or take it easy,” says Brock. “The scientific term is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia and is a way for your brain to say that it is turning up the brakes on what you are doing to prevent unwanted changes due to temperature.”

Reading aloud uses other brain circuits to silent reading

Reading aloud uses other brain circuits to silent reading
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Researchers have long understood that children first learn to read by speaking words out loud and only once that knowledge has been established can they learn to read to themselves. “Environmental noise versus chaotic noise versus noise discrimination all use different channels,” explains Brock. In the same vein, noise in the form of music is processed differently than regular speech, various pitches and frequencies and different harmonies, as well.

Your brain is mostly fat

Your brain is mostly fat
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

Yep – your thinking cap is the fattiest organ in your body, consisting of a minimum of 60 percent fat. This is why a diet rich in healthy fats, such as omega-3s and omega-6s, is vital for brain and overall body health. “Fat stabilises the cell walls in the brain and carries, absorbs and stores fat-soluble vitamins in your bloodstream,” explains Brock. “It also reduces inflammation and helps the immune system regulate and function properly.”

Never miss a deal again - sign up now!

Connect with us: