If you’re preparing for a quiz show and need to brush up on your knowledge of the human brain – or if you just have a love of learning – look no further, because we’ve gathered up a list of some of the best brain facts on the planet. Amongst other things, you’ll learn why babies’ heads are so darned big, why a healthy lunch is good for your body and your brain, why happy thoughts will keep the doctor away and why your lover’s cologne makes your heart skip a beat.
Image: Gaetan Lee
Check out our gallery, and if you’ve got more cool and interesting facts to add, please leave a comment!
Image: Michael Heilemann
Fast Brain Facts
- 3 = the weight of your brain in pounds
- 4 to 6 = the number of minutes your brain can survive without oxygen before it starts to die
- 8 to 10 = the number of seconds you have before losing consciousness due to blood loss
- 10 to 23 = the number of watts of power your grain generates when you’re awake (that’s enough to turn on a light bulb!)
- 20 = the percentages of oxygen and blood flow going to the brain
- 100,000 = the number of miles of blood vessels in your brain
- 1,000 to 10,000 = the number of synapses for each neuron in your brain
- 100 billion = the number of neurons in your brain
- Each person has about the same number of brain cells at birth as in adulthood, but those cells grow, reaching maximum size at about age six.
- A newborn’s brain triples its size in the first year of life (no wonder babies have such big heads!).
- The sense of touch is the first sense to develop in a fetus, with the lips and cheeks experiencing this sensation at eight weeks.
- Keep exercising your brain, because mental activity stimulates the creation of new neurons throughout your whole life.
An Apple a Day
- Think positive because when you do, you’ll keep the doctor away: Studies show that 50-70% of visits to the doctor for physical ailments can be traced to psychological reasons.
- Eat well, and it’ll have positive effects on your brain, because a study of one million New York students showed that those who ate lunches without additives such as artificial flavours, preservatives and dyes performed 14% better in IQ tests.
- That being said, your brain is the most fatty organ in your body!
Image: Erik Mallinson
The Memory Game
- New connections are created each and every time you remember something or have a new thought.
- Stronger, more intense emotional connections are linked to memories prompted by scent.
- Memories triggered by scent (like cologne) have a stronger emotional connection, and therefore appear more intense than other memory triggers.
- Cherish your sleep because that’s probably the best time for your brain to file away all the memories of the day.
Things That Make You Go “Hmmm…”
- It’s not your brain that’s hurting when you get a headache – without pain receptors, your brain can’t feel any pain.
- Your brain knows when you tickle yourself, which is why you don’t bend over laughing.
- Supertasters have a super power that enables them to sometimes taste flavours that others can’t detect; they have more taste buds and a brain that’s more sensitive to tastes of foods and drinks.
- When you sleep, you’re virtually paralyzed because your brain creates a hormone to prevent you from acting out your dreams.
- About 12% of people dream in black and white.
- It’s not true that humans only use 10% of their brains; each part of the brain has a purpose.