Did You Know ...? - Body and Brain Trivia is Back!

Posted in Did You Know? on Jan 30, 2018

Body and Brain Trivia

For some reason, I'm very good at hoarding bunches of useless body and brain trivia. I'm sure that it's taking up valuable real-estate in my own brain that would be better served for other things! And although I'm not as sharp as I used to be, I still have plenty of interesting but relatively useless information to share with the world.

It's been a while since I've written one of this body and brain trivia posts, so perhaps now is as good a time as any. So without further ado, here is some new (or old) body and brain trivia for you.

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What Your Brain Is Made Of

  •  Body and Brain Trivia The typical brain is only about 2% of the body’s total weight but uses 20% of its total energy and oxygen.
  • 25% of the body’s cholesterol resides within the brain. It forms the membrane calls of all nerve cells (in fact every cell in the body)  and also forms what is called a "myelin sheath" which is like an electrical conduit that allows nerve cells to fire in the first place. Cholesterol is essential for every single brain cell to survive. Without it, brain cells die ... now let that one simmer for a while when you think of all the people taking Lipitor or other cholesterol-lowering medication! It is the reason why too LOW cholesterol is actually WAY MORE DANGEROUS than too HIGH cholesterol!

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  • Your brain is 73% water. Only 2%of dehydration starts to affect your mood, memory,  and overall thinking ability. Trust me on this one having run a number of ultra marathons. If you get too low in the water, salt, or sugar you can't think straight at all, and you start to get real lightheaded. It isn't fun!
  • Your brain weighs about 1.25Kg, 60% of which is a gelatinous fat (after water). It is bathed in cerebrospinal fluid, which allows the brain to float. If it didn't your head would feel so ridiculously heavy that you wouldn't be able to sit or stand upright.


How Your Brain Changes

  • A 2-year old's brain is already 80% the total size of an adult's!
  • Your brain is made up of 86-100 billion cells making a total of 37 trillion connections amongst them all. Consider this: a philharmonic or symphony orchestra is made up of 70-100 instruments. In order for the music to be beautiful, all the instruments must be properly tuned, playing the exact same piece of music and at the exact same pace. So multiply that infinitely and THAT is the necessary function of your brain to control and coordinate all the processes in your body that keep you alive, HEALTHY, and well. ... So nuts to headaches or lower back pain - THAT IS THE REASON WHY HAVING YOUR ATLAS PROPERLY ALIGNED IS SO DARN IMPORTANT!

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  • The brain does not reach maturity until you are 25 years old. Specifically, its a part called the "prefrontal cortex," which is responsible for mood, the ability to override emotions, and the ability to project consequences as the result of actions. Think about that one! The part of your brain that lets you decide if something is a good or bad idea doesn't fully develop until you are 25 years old ... but you can have cigarettes, alcohol, l, and other such things when you're 18?! Hmm ...
  • Beyond that, your brain doesn't reach full maturity until you're about 50: not just to imagine the consequences from actions, but to rationalize based on experience if something is a good idea or not based on probability. Generally speaking, this is what we call WISDOM.


Your Brain's Processing Power

  • An average computer (2018) processes about 4 billion bits of data every second. It is estimated that the human brain processes about 38 petaflops of data every second, which is equivalent to 1 quadrillion bits. Side-by-side, that's 4,000,000,000 vs 1,000,000,000,000,000. So the brain still processes information 250,000x faster than the average new computer!
  • Based on the current development of technology, computer processing power will surpass the human brain in about 10 years ... and in 30 years will surpass all of the humans on planet earth combined, which is both amazing and terrifying at the same time.
  • And here's one last one for you. Your brain can’t do two things at once! What it can do is quickly move back and forth between processing two separate things. The idea of  "multitasking" has since been modified to "switch -tasking" because if better describes the process. I strongly recommend the following video if you haven't seen it, which illustrates the limitations of switch tasking:  Watch Video 
  •  So although you can multitask, it is not efficient at all! It interrupts your attention span, ability to learn, overall mental performance, and even short-term memory. In fact, THIS is the reason why men (especially) - if you tell them something when they are focussing on something else - don't remember what you said. It is because their brains are so hardwired for maximum efficiency that they automatically tune out all other things. (So ladies, it has nothing to do with him not loving or caring about you! It's because of how his brain is wired! ... 

  I think that's enough body and brain trivia for now.   I hope you've enjoyed it. If so, please let me know so that I'll be sure to have plenty more to come in the future (because - let's face it - there's plenty of additional useless but interesting information I've got stored in my noggin ... although officially it isn't really stored there at all! But more on that maybe another time.)

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