The brain is a complex and fascinating organ. Serving as the command center for the body's nervous system, the brain supplies human beings with an extraordinary amount of physical and cognitive abilities. This relatively small organ is capable of even more than most people are aware of! Gain a better understanding of the human brain here:
Amazing Brain Facts
- The brain is very lightweight--on the average, it's slightly more than three pounds (1.4 kilograms). Brains can vary in weight depending on the overall size of the body. A person with a large frame would most likely have a brain that weighs more than that of a petite person.
- When comparing the ratios of animal brain size to animal body size, human beings have the largest brains, which comprise about 2% of the total body weight. How do other animals measure up? While an elephant brain itself is six times heavier than a human brain, it is still smaller in relation to overall weight of the body. Conversely, the brain of a cat is very small, weighing in at only one ounce. It accounts for around 1% of the cat's body mass.
- The cerebellum, which coordinates the body's ability to stand, walk, and move gracefully, weighs five ounces (150 grams). Not surprisingly, the cerebellum is also known as the "little brain". It is located far down on the back side of the brain, and in addition to its other important functions, the cerebellum may affect the sense of smell.
- A constant stream of oxygen is absolutely vital for brain survival. If the brain is cut off from its oxygen supply for 10 minutes or longer, neurological impairment will likely be permanent. At colder temperatures, the brain may sustain its functioning a while longer.
- One-fifth of the human blood supply is used by the brain. Glucose and oxygen in the blood are metabolized by the neurons in the brain.
- A person can be fully awake and alert during an invasive brain procedure without feeling any pain. This is due to the absence of pain-detecting nerves in the regions of the brain.
- There are approximately 100 billion neurons in a human brain of average size.
- Each day, the brain loses about 85,000 of the neurons in its neocortex. Fortunately, the loss makes little difference when the vast total number of neurons is considered.
- When stimulated, the human brain will generate new neurons through a process known as neuro-plasticity.
- Incredibly, the blood vessels in the brain would reach a distance of 100,000 miles, or four rotations around the earth, if they were stretched flat!