Random Brain Facts


Random Brain Facts

Random Brain Facts

• We’ve learned more about the brain in last 20 yrs than all time previous to that

• No two brains are identical

• Brain is mostly water (78%), fat

(10%), and protein (8%)

• Living brain is so soft it can be cut w/ butter knife

Random Brain Facts

• The adult human brain weighs about 3 pounds (1,300-1,400 gm)

– Elephant brains = 6,000gm

– Cat brains = 30 gm

• Brain is ~2% of body weight, but consumes ~20% of body’s energy

• Total surface area of cerebral cortex

= ~2.5 sq ft

• Bigger brains are not necessarily better

• Einstein’s was average size

Random Brain Facts

• Human brain has ~100,000,000,000 neurons

• If all neurons were stretched end to end, would reach to moon and back

• Every second, brain receives 100 million messages from the senses

• ¾ of body’s neurons are in brain

• On day you are born, all brain cells are in place

– They’re just immature – still developing

• Explains why don’t have memories until ~3-4 y.o.

– Will not regenerate – this is all you get

• (Recent research is challenging this idea…)

Random Brain Facts

• ~10 trillion pieces of information in the brain

• There are 1,000 – 10,000 synapses for a typical neuron

• Human brain is capable of processing

10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bits of data per second

• Intelligence has nothing to do with number of neurons

– it has everything to do with number of dendrite connections

Random Brain Facts

• World record for time w/o sleep:

• 264 hours (11 days) – Randy Gardner, 1963

• Unconsciousness occurs 8-10 sec after loss of blood supply to brain

Random Brain Facts

• Changing brain:

• 525 billion neurons in brain at 26 wks gestation

• 200 billion on day born

• 100 billion today

• Brain is ultimate “use it or lose it” machine

– “neural sculpting” happens during REM sleep

• Computer/TV has huge impact on brain

• Recommend no TV/internet 0-2 yrs

– Sesame Street?

Random Brain Facts

• Humans can process 400-600 words/min

– Talk about 100-125 words/min

• Speaker needs to fill in gaps to avoid boredom, mind wandering

• Older people take longer to learn, but retain information as well as younger ppl

• Before age 5, brain is very plastic – can simultaneously adapt after injury

– After age 5, severe, permanent damage more likely

• Ex – 5 y.o. boy w/ severe seizures had entire left hemisphere removed

– paralyzed on right side, but scored above avg on intelligence tests, finished college & grad school

– today an executive

Random Brain Facts

• Brain disorders cost

Americans more than $600 billion a year

• Alcohol use in teens devastating to the pre-frontal cortex

• Mature neuron has myelin sheath protection, young adolescent brain does not

– MN in top 5 for alcohol consumption

– Also top 5 for FAS cases




Bad brain jokes

• What does a brain do when it sees a friend across the street?

– Gives a brain wave

• What did the hippocampus say during its retirement speech?

– Thanks for the memories

• What did the right hemisphere say to the left hemisphere when they couldn’t agree on anything?

– “let’s split”

Bad brain jokes

• What happens if you break the brain scanner?

– You will have a CATastrophe

• What kind of fish performs brain operations?

– A neurosturgeon

• What do you call a skull without 100 billion neurons?

– A no brainer

Bad brain jokes

• When does a brain get afraid?

– When it loses its nerve

• Why didn’t the brain want to take a bath?

– It didn’t want to be brainwashed

• Why was the neuron sent to the principal’s office?

– It had trouble controlling its impulses