Wednesday, May 4, 2022

How Much Do We Know About The Brain

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You Can Make Your Brain Think Time Is Going Slowly By Doing New Things

The Peculiar Way Our Brain Functions | Ever Wondered | Spark

Ever wished you didnt find yourself saying Where does the time go! every June when you realize the year is half-over? This is a neat trick that relates to how our brains perceive time. Once you know how it works, you can trick your brain into thinking time is moving more slowly.

Essentially, our brains take a whole bunch of information from our senses and organize it in a way that makes sense to us, before we ever perceive it. So what we think is our sense of time is actually just a whole bunch of information presented to us in a particular way, as determined by our brains:

When our brains receive new information, it doesnt necessarily come in the proper order. This information needs to be reorganized and presented to us in a form we understand. When familiar information is processed, this doesnt take much time at all. New information, however, is a bit slower and makes time feel elongated.

Even stranger, it isnt just a single area of the brain that controls our time perceptionits done by a whole bunch of brain areas, unlike our common five senses, which can each be pinpointed to a single, specific area.

When we receive lots of new information, it takes our brains a while to process it all. The longer this processing takes, the longer that period of time feels:

The same thing happens when we hear enjoyable music, because greater attention leads to perception of a longer period of time.

Introversion And Extroversion Come From Different Wiring In The Brain

I just recently realized that introversion and extroversion are not actually related to how outgoing or shy we are, but rather how our brains recharge.

Heres how the brains of introverts and extroverts differ:

Research has actually found that there is a difference in the brains of extroverted and introverted people in terms of how we process rewards and how our genetic makeup differs. For extroverts, their brains respond more strongly when a gamble pays off. Part of this is simply genetic, but its partly the difference of their dopamine systems as well.

An experiment that had people take gambles while in a brain scanner found the following:

When the gambles they took paid off, the more extroverted group showed a stronger response in two crucial brain regions: the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens.

The nucleus accumbens is part of the dopamine system, which affects how we learn, and is generally known for motivating us to search for rewards. The difference in the dopamine system in the extroverts brain tends to push them towards seeking out novelty, taking risks and enjoying unfamiliar or surprising situations more than others. The amygdala is responsible for processing emotional stimuli, which gives extroverts that rush of excitement when they try something highly stimulating which might overwhelm an introvert.

Is It True That You Get New Brain Wrinkles When You Learn Something

Not all brains are wrinkled. In fact, most animals have fairly smooth brains. Some exceptions are primates, dolphins, elephants, and pigs, which also happen to be some of the more intelligent animals.

The human brain is exceptionally wrinkled. Thats probably why people conclude that we gain more wrinkles as we learn new things. But thats not how we acquire brain wrinkles.

Your brain starts developing wrinkles before youre even born. The wrinkling continues as your brain grows, until youre about 18 months old.

Think of the wrinkles as folds. The crevices are called sulci and the raised areas are called gyri. The folds allow room for more gray matter inside your skull. It also decreases wiring length and improves overall cognitive functioning.

Human brains vary quite a bit, but theres still a typical pattern to brain folds. Research shows that not having the major folds in the right places could cause some dysfunction.

  • motivate you to do things you probably wanted to do anyway

Learning entirely new things is far more complicated.

Say youve been studying a foreign language. Theres only a small chance that listening to vocabulary words in your sleep can help you remember them a bit better. A 2015 study found that this is true only under the best of circumstances. The researchers noted that you cant learn new things during your sleep.

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Cholesterol Is Key To Learning And Memory

The brain has a higher cholesterol content than any other organ.; In fact, about 25% of the bodys cholesterol resides within the brain. The brain is highly dependent on cholesterol, but its cholesterol metabolism is unique. Because the blood-brain barrier prevents brain cells from taking up cholesterol from the blood, the brain must produce its own cholesterol. The brains cholesterol is much more stable than the cholesterol in other organs, but when it breaks down, it is recycled into new cholesterol right in the brain.

Right Brain Left Brain

How much (percentage) do we know about the 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.

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How Much Do We Know About The Brain

You are your brain, according to modern neuroscience, but how exactly do your thoughts, feelings, perceptions and sense of self derive from this three-pound organ locked inside the black box of your skull? Cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Heather Berlin has been seeking answers to those questions for decades, and finding surprising answers in the brains of people with psychiatric and neurological disorders. What happens in the brains of people who cant control themselves, or whose sense of self is fragmented, or lost entirely? By tracing the distinct brain circuits that give rise to her patients disorders, Dr. Berlin is revealing the neurophysiology that makes each of us who we are.

It Is A Myth That Humans Only Use 10% Of Our Brain

We actually use all of it. Were even using more than 10 percent when we sleep. Although its true that at any given moment all of the brains regions are not concurrently firing, brain researchers using imaging technology have shown that, like the bodys muscles, most are continually active over a 24-hour period.

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The Human Brain Gets Smaller As We Get Older

Human brain keeps developing until you are in your late 40s. It is the only organ in the human body to undergo development for such a long time. It also sees more changes than any other organ. Around mid-life, the brain will begin to shrink. However, size doesnt matter in the brain. There is no evidence that a larger brain is smarter than a smaller one.

Stress Can Change The Size Of Your Brain

How Close Are We to a Complete Map of the Human Brain?

I bet you didnt know stress is actually the most common cause of changes in brain function. I was surprised to find this out when I looked into how stress affects our brains.

I also found some research that showed signs of brain size decreasing due to stress.

One study used baby monkeys to test the effects of stress on development and long-term mental health. Half the monkeys were cared for by their peers for 6 months while the other half remained with their mothers. Afterwards, the monkeys were returned to typical social groups for several months before the researchers scanned their brains.

For the monkeys who had been removed from their mothers and cared for by their peers, areas of their brains related to stress were still enlarged, even after being in normal social conditions for several months.

Although more studies are needed to explore this fully, its pretty scary to think that prolonged stress could affect our brains long-term.

Another study found that in rats who were exposed to chronic stress, the hippocampuses in their brains actually shrank. The hippocampus is integral to forming memories. It has been debated before whether Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can actually shrink the hippocampus, or people with naturally smaller hippocampuses are just more prone to PTSD. This study could point to the stress being a factor in actually changing the brain.

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How Much Does A Human Brain Weigh

The human brain weighs about 3 lbs. and makes up about 2% of a human’s body weight. On average, male brains are about 10% larger than female brains, according to Northwestern Medicine in Illinois. The average male has a brain volume of nearly 78 cubic inches , while the average female brain has a volume of 69 cubic inches . The cerebrum, which is the main part of the brain located in the front area of the skull, makes up 85% of the brain’s weight.

Anatomy Of The Human Brain

The largest part of the human brain is the cerebrum, which is divided into two hemispheres, according to the Mayfield Clinic. Each hemisphere consists of four lobes: the frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital. The rippled surface of the cerebrum is called the cortex. Underneath the cerebrum lies the brainstem, and behind that sits the cerebellum.;

The frontal lobe is important for cognitive functions, such as thought and planning ahead, and for the control of voluntary movement. The temporal lobe generates memories and emotions. The parietal lobe integrates input from different senses and is important for spatial orientation and navigation. Visual processing takes place in the occipital lobe, near the back of the skull.;

The brainstem connects to the spinal cord and consists of the medulla oblongata, pons and midbrain. The primary functions of the brainstem include relaying information between the brain and the body; supplying most of the cranial nerves to the face and head; and performing critical functions in controlling the heart, breathing and levels of consciousness .

The cerebellum lies beneath the cerebrum and has important functions in motor control. It plays a role in coordination and balance and may also have some cognitive functions.

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How Much Of Our Brains Do We Use

One long-circulating myth has it that humans typically use only 10 percent of their brain capacity, suggesting that, if only we knew how to hack into the other 90 percent, we might be able to unlock amazing abilities.

While it remains unclear exactly where this myth originated and how it spread so speedily, the idea that we could somehow tap into as yet unclaimed brain power is certainly a very attractive one.

Still, nothing could be farther from the truth than this piece of urban lore. Just consider what we discussed above: even in a resting state, the brain is still active and requires energy.

Brain scans have shown that we use pretty much all of our brains all of the time, even when were asleep though patterns of activity, and the intensity of that activity, might differ depending on what were doing and what state of wakefulness or sleep were in.

Even when youre engaged in a task and some neurons are engaged in that task, the rest of your brain is occupied doing other things, which is why, for example, the solution to a problem can emerge after you havent been thinking about it for a while, or after a nights sleep, and thats because your brains constantly active, said neurologist Krish Sathian, who works at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

Is Brain Size Linked To Intelligence

Our brain in isolation â what to know, what we can do ...

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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We Tend To Like People Who Make Mistakes More

Apparently, making mistakes actually makes us more likeable, due to something called the Pratfall Effect.

Kevan Lee recently explained how this works on the Buffer blog:

Those who never make mistakes are perceived as less likeable than those who commit the occasional faux pas. Messing up draws people closer to you, makes you more human. Perfection creates distance and an unattractive air of invincibility. Those of us with flaws win out every time.This theory was tested by psychologist Elliot Aronson. In his test, he asked participants to listen to recordings of people answering a quiz. Select recordings included the sound of the person knocking over a cup of coffee. When participants were asked to rate the quizzers on likability, the coffee-spill group came out on top.

So this is why we tend to dislike people who seem perfect! And now we know that making minor mistakes isnt the worst thing in the worldin fact, it can work in our favor.

Bulletin #4356 Children And Brain Development: What We Know About How Children Learn

Prepared by Judith Graham, Extension human development specialist, University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Revised by Leslie A. Forstadt, Ph.D. Child and Family Development Specialist, University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

For information about UMaine Extension programs and resources, visit more of our publications and books at

Like constructing a house, brains are built upon a strong foundation. This starts before birth, and is very important during the first three years of life. Brain cells are raw materials much like lumber is a raw material in building a house, and a childs experiences and interactions help build the structure, put in the wiring, and paint the walls. Heredity determines the basic number of neurons children are born with, and their initial arrangement.

At birth, a babys brain contains 100 billion neurons, roughly as many nerve cells as there are stars in the Milky Way, and almost all the neurons the brain will ever have. The brain starts forming prenatally, about three weeks after conception. Before birth, the brain produces trillions more neurons and synapses than it needs. During the first years of life, the brain undergoes a series of extraordinary changes.

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Gene And Protein Expression

Bioinformatics is a field of study that includes the creation and advancement of databases, and computational and statistical techniques, that can be used in studies of the human brain, particularly in the areas of gene and protein expression. Bioinformatics and studies in genomics, and functional genomics, generated the need for DNA annotation, a transcriptome technology, identifying genes, their locations and functions.GeneCards is a major database.

As of 2017, just under 20,000 protein-coding genes are seen to be expressed in the human, and some 400 of these genes are brain-specific. The data that has been provided on gene expression in the brain has fuelled further research into a number of disorders. The long term use of alcohol for example, has shown altered gene expression in the brain, and cell-type specific changes that may relate to alcohol use disorder. These changes have been noted in the synaptictranscriptome in the prefrontal cortex, and are seen as a factor causing the drive to alcohol dependence, and also to other substance abuses.

It Is Literally Impossible For Our Brains To Multi

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Multi-tasking is something weve long been encouraged to practice, but it turns out multitasking is actually impossible. When we think were multi-tasking, were actually context-switching. That is, were quickly switching back-and-forth between different tasks, rather than doing them at the same time.

The book Brain Rules explains how detrimental multi-tasking can be:

Research shows your error rate goes up 50 percent and it takes you twice as long to do things.

The problem with multi-tasking is that were splitting our brains resources. Were giving less attention to each task, and probably performing worse on all of them:

When the brain tries to do two things at once, it divides and conquers, dedicating one-half of our gray matter to each task.

Here is how this looks like in reality. Whilst we try to do both Action A and Action B at the same time, our brain is never handling both simultaneously. Instead, it has to painfully switch back and forth and use important brainpower just for the switching:

When our brains handle a single task, the prefrontal cortex plays a big part. Heres how it helps us achieve a goal or complete a task:

The anterior part of this brain region forms the goal or intentionfor example, I want that cookieand the posterior prefrontal cortex talks to the rest of the brain so that your hand reaches toward the cookie jar and your mind knows whether you have the cookie.

When a third task was added, the volunteers results plummeted:

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