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How Complex Is The Human Brain

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The Most Complex Object in the World – Human Brain Series – Part 1

Despite the fact that the human brain is not a very large organ, its functioning requires a whole lot of energy.

Although the brain weighs only 2 percent of the body , it alone uses 25 percent of all the energy that your body requires to run per day, Herculano-Houzel explained in a presentation.

And why does the brain need so much fuel? Based on studies of rat models, some scientists have hypothesized that, while most of this energy is expended on maintaining ongoing thought and bodily processes, some of it is probably invested in the upkeep of brain cells health.

But, according to some researchers, at first sight, the brain, seemingly inexplicably, uses up a lot of energy during what is known as the resting state, when it is not involved in any specific, targeted activities.

According to James Kozloski, Inactivity correlated networks appear even under anesthesia, and these areas have very high metabolic rates, tipping the brains energy budget toward a large investment in the organisms doing nothing, he writes.

But Kozloskis hypothesis is that no large amount of energy is spent for no reason so why does the brain seem to do it? In fact, he says, it doesnt.

Energy spent doing nothing, he says, is actually put toward assembling a map of accumulating information and experiences that we can fall back on when making decisions in our day-to-day lives.

How Complex Is The Human Brain

So how complex is the human brain? Well, that in part depends on how you choose to look at it. There is an exquisite amount of detail and structure to the brain across many scales of organization. From how individual pairs of cell communicate and are structurally linked to each other, to how large populations of cells are arranged and connect to form networks. And how networks of networks form different brain regions. Brain regions are themselves connected into dynamically changing functional networks.

If one considers the number of cells that make up the brain and the number of connections between them as a proxy for the computational complexity of the brain, then it is staggeringly complex. It defies any intuitive grasp.

In numbers: The complexity of the human brain.

Gabriel. A. Silva

As if these staggering numbers werent enough, running through the network of neurons are billions upon billion upon billions of discrete electrical impulses, called action potentials, that act as messages between connected neurons. Somehow, in ways neuroscientists still do not fully understand, the interactions of all these electrical signals carry out incredibly complex computations that produce everything the brain is capable of. Presumably, this includes elusive emergent cognitive properties such as self awareness and consciousness.

Is Brain Size Linked To Intelligence

Overall brain size doesn’t correlate with level of intelligence for non-human animals. For instance, the brain of a sperm whale is more than five times heavier than the human brain, but humans are considered to be of higher intelligence than sperm whales. A more accurate measure of an animal’s likely intelligence is the ratio between the size of the brain and body size, although not even that measure puts humans in first place: The tree shrew has the highest brain-to-body ratio of any mammal, according to, a website produced by the Society for Neuroscience.;

Among humans, brain size doesn’t indicate a person’s level of intelligence. Some geniuses in their field have smaller-than-average brains, while others have brains that are larger than average, according to Christof Koch, a neuroscientist and president of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. For example, compare the brains of two highly acclaimed writers. The Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev’s brain was found to weigh 71 ounces , while the brain of French writer Anatole France weighed only 36 ounces .

“The more complicated a brain gets, the more gyri and sulci, or wiggly hills and valleys, it has,” Holland told Live Science. Other intelligent animals, such as monkeys and dolphins, also have these folds in their cortex, whereas mice have smooth brains, he said.

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Phd Position In Linking The Cellular Organisation Of The Human Brain To Complex Functions

Your Job:

  • Mapping and analysis of the organisation of cells in the human brain using ultra-high-resolution post mortem histology
  • Modelling the relationship between brain structure and function at various spatial scales
  • Working with a broad range of imaging modalities , as well as post mortem data
  • Close cooperation with an interdisciplinary team of neuroscientists, computer scientists and physicists
  • Production of high-quality scientific articles
  • National and international travel to present at scientific conferences and strengthen inter-lab cooperations

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What Is The Human Brain

Anatomy of the Brain: Structures and Their Function

Human brain is the part of the central nervous system located inside the skull. It controls and coordinates all the functions of the body. It is divided into:

  • Cerebrum
  • Cerebellum
  • Brain stem

Cerebrum is the largest part of the human brain with two cerebral hemispheres. The brainstem connects the cerebrum to the spinal cord. It is made up of medulla oblongata, pons and midbrain.

Animal brain is also located in the central nervous system. It is of three types:

  • Invertebrates brain
  • Vertebrates brain
  • Mammals brain

The most complex invertebrates brain occur in arthropods, that comprises, twin parallel nerve cords extending through the body.

A vertebrates; brain is made up of a forebrain, a midbrain and a hindbrain.

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Cortical Circuits: Architecture And Wiring

The evolutionary expansion of the neocortex in primates, as we have seen, is mainly the result of an increase in the number of radial columns, of which the architecture may have been under selective evolutionary pressure in different mammalian lineages in response to encephalization and specializations of cognitive abilities. We are beginning to understand some of the geometric and biophysical constraints that have governed the evolution of these neural networks . To operate efficiently within these constraints, nature has optimized the structure and function of these processing units with design principles similar to those used in electronic devices and communication networks. In fact, the basic structural uniformity of the cerebral cortex suggests that there are general architectural principles governing its growth and evolutionary development .

How Do Brains Change With Age

As we age, parts of our brain begin to shrink naturally and we begin to gradually lose neurons. The frontal lobe and the hippocampus two key brain regions in regulating cognitive processes, including memory formation and recall start shrinking when we hit 60 or 70.

This means that we could naturally begin to find learning new things, or performing several tasks at the same time, more challenging than before.

There is some good news, as well, however. Till not too long ago, scientists used to believe that once we started to lose neurons, that would be it we would be unable to create new brain cells and had to resign ourselves to that.

However, it turns out that this isnt true. Researcher Sandrine Thuret, from Kings College London in the United Kingdom, has explained that the hippocampus is a crucial part in the adult brain in terms of generating new cells.

The process in which new nerve cells are created in the adult brain is called neurogenesis, and, according to Thuret, estimates suggest that an average adult human will produce 700 new neurons per day in the hippocampus.

This, she suggests, means that when we reach middle age, we will have replaced all the neurons that we had in this brain region in the beginning of our lives with ones that we produced during adulthood.

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Evolution Of The Cerebral Cortex

It is now well established that the cerebral cortex forms as a smooth sheet populated by neurons that proliferate at the ventricular surface and migrate outwards along radial glial fibers . Differences in the duration of neurogenesis, which increases more rapidly with brain size for the cerebral cortex than for subcortical areas , lead to a systematic increase in the ratio of the cortical to subcortical regions. Whereas in small brained species the cortical volume expands by virtue of a combined increase in surface area and cortical thickness, the increase of the cortical volume in species with a brain size of more than 34 cm3 is almost entirely due to a disproportionate expansion of the cortical surface area . It is the increase of the cortical surface area beyond that expected for geometrically similar objects of different volumes which creates the need to cortical folding .

Figure 2. Lateral views of the brains of some anthropoid primates showing the evolutionary expansion of the neocortex. Note the diverse configurations and gyral and sulcal patterns. Saimiri sciureus: E = 22 g; Macaca mulatta: E = 95 g; Pan troglodytes: E = 420 g; Homo sapiens: E = 1350 g. Reproduced with permission from Hofman .

The Primal Brain In The Modern World

What’s harder to understand, a human brain or the universe?

It took millions of years for man’s instincts to develop. It will take millions more for them to even vary. It is fashionable to talk about changing man. A communicator must be concerned with unchanging man, with his obsessive drive to survive, to be admired, to succeed, to love, to take care of his own. William Bernbach , American advertising creative director

We might not be living in the same world as primitive man, but we are still met with threatening and potentially dangerous situations. The brainstem is responsible for keeping us safe now, as it was for early man. The health and functioning of this brain region largely determines our ability to detect and respond to threats. At the most basic level, the brainstem helps us identify familiar and unfamiliar things. Familiar things are usually seen as safe and preferable, while unfamiliar things are treated with suspicion until we have assessed them and the context in which they appear. For this reason, designers, advertisers, and anyone else involved in selling products tend to use familiarity as a means of evoking positive emotions.

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Right Brain Left Brain

The cerebrum is divided into two halves: the right and left hemispheres They are joined by a bundle of fibers called the corpus callosum that transmits messages from one side to the other. Each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body. If a stroke occurs on the right side of the brain, your left arm or leg may be weak or paralyzed.

Not all functions of the hemispheres are shared. In general, the left hemisphere controls speech, comprehension, arithmetic, and writing. The right hemisphere controls creativity, spatial ability, artistic, and musical skills. The left hemisphere is dominant in hand use and language in about 92% of people.

The Human Brain Has More Connections Than The Universe

The human brain is a vastly complex artificial machine, that defines our surroundings and works continously, the most amazing thing in existence. Nothing is like the brain. The human brain is so complex, not even top scientists can put a finger on what it actually is, or what consciousness is. They cannot define it with normal physics as it seems to defeat most laws which some scientists suggest that it is not definable in physics but in quantum entanglement. Which is a hypothesis but holds more answers than regular physics does. The Quantum mind is a bizarre scenario that one would struggle to understand, let alone explain. All we know is that our own brain evidently is more complex and intricate than the universe according to scientists. But the most amazing thing of all is us, the neuron. We are an electrical current of some sort, speeding around connecting through connections, fully exploiting the insides of our heads, 40 times per second.

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The Effects Of The Modern Lifestyle On The Brain

Our modern lifestyle is;changing our brains.

And its not all for the better.

Low levels of omega-3s result in brain shrinkage equivalent to two years of structural brain aging.;

26. Since the late 1800s, the average IQ;have gone down 1.6 points per decade for a total of 13.35 points.;

27.;Technology has forced most of us to be prodigious multitaskers.

But your brain cant learn or concentrate on two things at once.

What it can do is quickly toggle back and forth between tasks.;

But doing so decreases your attention span, ability to learn, short-term memory, and overall mental performance.;

It even temporarily by up to 15 points.;

28. Unexpectedly, millennials are;more forgetful than baby boomers.

They are more likely to forget what day it is or where they put their keys than their parents.;

29.Brain cells will cannibalize themselves as a last ditch source of energy to ward off starvation.;

So, in very real ways, dieting, especially low-fat diets, can force your brain to literally eat itself.;

30. Over 140 proteins in the brain are negatively impacted by exposure to electromagnetic frequencies, the kind emitted by your cell phone and other electronic devices.;

31. Relying on GPS to navigate destroys your innate sense of direction, a skill that took our ancestors thousands of years to develop.

When areas of the brain involved in navigation are no longer used, those neural connections fade away via a process known as synaptic pruning.;

Does The Brain Stay Alive After A Person Dies

New Hypothesis Explaining The Human Mind

April 2019 marked a milestone for both the initiative and neuroscience research at large: BRAIN Initiative researcher Nenad Sestan, of the Yale School of Medicine, published a report in the journal Nature, revealing that his research team had restored circulation and some cellular functions to pig brains four hours after the animals’ deaths, Live Science previously reported. The results challenged the prevailing view that brain cells are suddenly and irreversibly damaged shortly after the heart stops beating. The researchers did not observe any signs of consciousness in the brains, nor were they trying to; on the contrary, the researchers injected pig brains with chemicals that mimicked blood flow and also blocked neurons from firing. The researchers emphasized that they did not bring the pig brains back to life. They did, however, restore some of their cellular activity.;

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Your Brain Has Three Main Jobs

  • Managing your unconscious or ‘automatic’ functions, such as heartbeat, breathing, digestion and control of body temperature.

  • Managing your conscious or ‘motor’ functions, such as movement, gesturing, balance, posture and speech.
  • Thinking, emotions, behaviour and senses .
  • It’s this third job that we’re particularly interested in as this is where your thinking skills come in.

    What Are The Parts Of The Brain

    The brain is made up of three main sections: the forebrain, the midbrain, and the hindbrain.

    The Forebrain

    The forebrain is the largest and most complex part of the brain. It consists of the cerebrum the area with all the folds and grooves typically seen in pictures of the brain as well as some other structures under it.

    The cerebrum contains the information that essentially makes us who we are: our intelligence, memory, personality, emotion, speech, and ability to feel and move. Specific areas of the cerebrum are in charge of processing these different types of information. These are called lobes, and there are four of them: the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes.

    The cerebrum has right and left halves, called hemispheres. They’re connected in the middle by a band of nerve fibers that lets them communicate. These halves may look like mirror images of each other, but many scientists believe they have different functions:

    • The left side is considered the logical, analytical, objective side.
    • The right side is thought to be more intuitive, creative, and subjective.

    So when you’re balancing your checkbook, you’re using the left side. When you’re listening to music, you’re using the right side. It’s believed that some people are more “right-brained” or “left-brained” while others are more “whole-brained,” meaning they use both halves of their brain to the same degree.

    In the inner part of the forebrain sits the thalamus, hypothalamus, and :

    The Midbrain

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    Human Brain Facts By The Numbers

    The most complex manifestation of intelligence that we know of resides between our ears.

    Here are some incredible numerical facts about the human brain.

    1. The typical brain comprises about 2% of the bodys total weight, but uses 20% of its total energy and oxygen intake.;

    2. Your brain is 73% water.

    It takes only 2% dehydration to affect your attention, memory, and other cognitive skills.;

    3. Ninety minutes of sweating can temporarily shrink the brain as much as one year of aging.;

    4. The brain weighs about three pounds.

    8. A piece of brain tissue the size of a grain of sand contains 100,000 neurons and 1 billion synapses, all communicating with each other.;

    9.;All brain cells are not alike.

    There are as many as 10,000 specific types of neurons in the brain.;

    10.;Your brain needs a constant supply of oxygen.

    As little as five minutes without oxygen can cause some brain cells to die, leading to severe brain damage.;

    11. Babies have big heads to hold rapidly growing brains.

    A;2-year-olds brain is 80% of adult size.;

    12. As any parent can attest, teenage brains are not fully formed.

    It isnt until about the age of 25 that the human brain reaches full maturity.;

    ” Think youre in control of your life? Dont be so sure.;Ninety-five percent of your decisions take place in;your subconscious mind.

    This is faster than Formula 1 race cars which top out at 240 mph.;

    14.The brain generates about 20 watts of electricity.;

    This is enough to power a low-wattage light bulb.;

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