- Neuron is the smallest/basic unit of our brain. It is specialised cells which convert various forms of electrochemical stimuli into electrical impulses. It is also responsible for reception, conduction and transmission of information in the form of electrochemical signals.
- It’s estimated that human brain contains about 150 billion neurons. Each neuron is connected to many other neurons. – Approximately 85,000 neocortical neurons are lost each day in your brain. Fortunately, this goes unnoticed due to the built-in redundancies and the fact that even after three years this loss adds up to less than 1% of the total.
- Recent research proves that your brain continues to produce new neurons throughout your life. It also proves that it does so in response to stimulation (do those brainpower exercises). Scientists refer to this as brain plasticity or neuro-plasticity. You may find this one the most encouraging of these brain facts.
- Spinal cord is the part of the brain. Its involved in
1.) Carrying sensory impulses coming from lower parts of the body to the brain and vice versa.
2.) Perform some simple reflexes without the involvement of the brain e.g.- knee jerk, pupil constriction, suddenly pulling away from very hot or cold object, breathing and stretching.
- Neurons develop at the rate of 250,000 neurons per minute during early pregnancy.
- What part of you is only 1% to 3% of your body’s mass, yet uses 20% of all the oxygen you breathe? Your brain! – Your brain uses a fifth of all your blood. It needs it to keep up with the heavy metabolic demands of its neurons. It needs not only the glucose that is delivered, but of course, the oxygen. – – An elephant’s brain is huge – about six times as large as a human brain. However, in relation to body size, humans have the largest brain of all the animals, averaging about 2% of body weight. A cat’s brain? It weighs about one ounce, a little over 1% of body weight.
- There are no pain receptors in the brain, so the brain can feel no pain.
- Your brain feels no pain. There are no nerves that register pain within the brain itself. Because of this, neurosurgeons can probe the brain while a patient is conscious (what fun!). By doing this, they can use feedback from the patient to identify important regions, such as those used for speech, or visualization.
Our brain is broadly divided into two hemispheres :-
- Each hemisphere is specialised in a particular field (research by Dr. Roger Sperry who awarded with Nobel Prize for this surprising work).
- Left Hemisphere (left brain)
- Right hemisphere (right brain)
HEMISPHERE’S SPECIALISATION OF THE BRAIN
|Note :- none of these abilities is located exclusively in one hemisphere or the other. Hemisphere specialisation is matter of degree.|
|The left side of your brain (left hemisphere) controls the right side of your body; and, the right side of your brain (right hemisphere) controls the left side of your body.|
- Structure of the brain:-
Different psychologist and neurologists divide brain parts into different ways. To make the study convenient, the brain can be divided into three parts:-
1.) Hindbrain( contains medulla Oblongata, pons, cerebellum);
2.) Midbrain( contains-RAS Reticular Activating System).
3.) Forebrain( contains-hypothalamus, thalamus, the limbic System, Cerebrum)
IMPORTANT PART OF THE BRAIN AND THEIR FUNCTION
|Medulla Oblongata||Involved in basic life supporting activities –breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. It also has some centres of autonomic activities.|
|Pons||Involved in sleep mechanism, respiratory movement and facial expressions.|
|Cerebellum||highly developed part, involved in maintaining and controlling posture and equilibrium of the body . also stores the memory of movement patterns.|
|RAS(Reticular activating system)||Important part of midbrain keeps us alert and active by controlling sensory inputs.|
|Hypothalamus||Involved in emotional and motivational behaviour viz-eating, sleeping, drinking, body temperature regulation, regulation of internal environment of the body –heart rate, blood pressure, temperature).also regulates the secretion of hormones from various endocrine glands. The Hypothalamus part of the brain regulates body temperature much like a thermostat. The hypothalamus knows what temperature your body should be (about 98.6 Fahrenheit or 37 Celsius), and if your body is too hot, the hypothalamus tells it to sweat. If you’re too cold, the hypothalamus makes you start shivering. Shivering and sweating helps get your body’s temperature back to normal.|
|Amygdala||Plays important role in emotional behaviour.|
|Cerebrum or cerebral cortex||Involved in regulation of all higher levels of cognitive functions viz- attention, perception, learning, memory, language behaviour, reasoning and problem solving. The cerebrum is divided into two symmetrical halves – left hemisphere and right hemisphere ( discussed above in detail. Cerebral cortex further divided into four lobes-
(i) Frontal lobe ( deals with attention, thinking, memory, learning and reasoning
(ii)Parietal lobe (deals with skin sensations and their coordinating with visual and auditory sensations).
(iii) Temporal lobe( deals with processing of auditory information).
(iv) occipital lobe( deals with visual information).
- The brain is made up of about 75% water.
- A living brain is so soft you could cut it with a table knife.
- Alcohol interferes with brain processes by weakening connections between neurons
- A stimulating environment for a child can make the difference between a 25% greater ability to learn or 25% less in an environment with little stimulation.
- Humans continue to make new neurons throughout life in response to mental activity
- Children who learn two languages before the age of five alters the brain structure and adults have a much denser gray matter.
- Your brain uses 20% of the total oxygen in your body.
- As with oxygen, your brain uses 20% of the blood circulating in your body.
- Every time you recall a memory or have a new thought, you are creating a new connection in your brain
- If your brain loses blood for 8 to 10 seconds, you will lose consciousness.
- While awake, your brain generates between 10 and 23 watts of power–or enough energy to power a light bulb.
- It is thought that a yawn works to send more oxygen to the brain, therefore working to cool it down and wake it up.
- The brain can live for 4 to 6 minutes without oxygen, and then it begins to die. No oxygen for 5 to 10 minutes will result in permanent brain damage.
- The next time you get a fever, keep in mind that the highest human body temperature ever recorded was 115.7 degrees–and the man survived.
- Excessive stress has shown to “alter brain cells, brain structure and brain function.”
- Love hormones and autism. Oxytocin, one of the hormones responsible for triggering feelings of love in the brain, has shown some benefits to helping control repetitive behaviors in those with autism.
- You can’t tickle yourself because your brain distinguished between unexpected external touch and your own touch.
- While you sleep at night may be the best time for your brain to consolidate all your memories from the day.
- During a dream. If you are awakened during a dream, you are much more likely to remember the dream than if you slept until a full night’s sleep.
- Japanese researchers have successfully developed a technology that can put thoughts on a screen and may soon be able to screen people’s dreams.
- Each time we blink, our brain kicks in and keeps things illuminated so the whole world doesn’t go dark each time we blink (about 20,000 times a day).
- Laughing at a joke is no simple task as it requires activity in five different areas of the brain.
- Einstein’s brain was similar in size to other humans except in the region that is responsible for math and spatial perception. In that region, his brain was 35% wider than average.