Posted by Cass - 13 November 2012
The brain is still the most complicated organ in the body. Here are some interesting facts about our brains.
1. Some neuroscientists describe the texture of the living brain as like that of toothpaste, whilst others prefer to think of it as more similar to tofu.
2. Our brains are 10 percent smaller than those of our ancestors, possibly because our brain's work more efficiently now.
3. Brain size is not directly correlated with intellect so there's nothing to suggest that ancient civilisations were smarter than humans today. In fact, Einstein's brain was unusually light.
4. Remember exactly where you were and what you were doing on 9/11? That's because shocking or emotionally arousing events become vividly imprinted in the brain, providing a snapshot of that exact moment. This is called a flashbulb memory.
5. Although the brain takes up only about 2-3% of your total body weight, it uses around 20% of your body's energy, enough to light up a 25 watt bulb.
6. It is possible to remember events that never happened with the power of suggestion! Scientists have found 25% of people were able to recall events from their childhood which had not actually happened because of information planted by a friend or relative.
7. It is impossible to tickle yourself because your brain is able to distinguish between unexpected external touch and your own touch!
8. Men and women's brains react differently to pain, which explains why there may be differences in the way that men and women perceive and discuss when something hurts.
9. Some people are able to exercise enough control over their brains to direct their dreams, this is called lucid dreaming. The dreamer is aware that they are dreaming and able to influence what happens in the dream.
10. There are no pain receptors in the brain. This is especially useful for surgeons as it means that brain surgery can be performed whilst the patient is still awake. This helps them to monitor any unwanted side effects of the operation, for example visionary and motor control abnormalities.