the brain

Eleven startling facts about the brain

  1. Your body contains at least 60 trillion cells. Yet the brain in your skull contains ‘only’ 86 billion cells, just 0.01% of the total. Proof that the ‘mind’ isn’t just inside your skull. Your body is in fact a collection of multiple brains.
  2. Each brain cell carries, on average 7000 connections to other cells. Therefore the number of cell networks in the brain is 60 thousand billion, or 60,000,000,000,000 chains of information your brain can store.
  3. Your brain weighs only 3 pounds and uses just 10-23 watts of energy per day. That is less than the energy in three bananas.
  4. Each year you will lose about 3.3 million brain cells. But that is less than 0.00000004% of the total. And nearly all of it is replaced, right on up until old age.
  5. There is no truth in the myth that we only use 10% of brain power. The entire brain is being used every day, even if some areas of the brain are there only for storage, or for back-up functions.
  6. Super memory. The brain is capable of storing 10 trillion bits of information about you and your personal experiences. 
  7. The brain can make its own ‘heroin’. Endorphins are released in the Hypothalamus after vigorous physical exercise, injury, meditation, laughter and chocolate. Endorphins are up to 19 times stronger than morphine. By contrast, heroin is only 7 times stronger than morphine.
  8. Being happy is good for the brain. Happy states trigger dopamine release, a feel-good chemical. Personal fulfilment increases neuroplasticity, slows down ageing and improves memory.
  9. Between puberty and early adulthood, the brain rebuilds itself. There is massive growth in the pre-frontal cortex (conscious mind); connections between cell networks are being hard-wired (making emotional life-lessons more intense); and there is a temporary loss of connection between the brain’s emotional centres (the limbic system) and the intellectual centres – which means that teenagers may lack the capacity to make good decisions.
  10. New experiences are vital for improved brain function. Getting out of the rut and going for new horizons increases cell growth, delays ageing and improves cell connectivity. The same goes when you let go of the past and exercise forgiveness.
  11. The brain contains a bonding chemical: oxytocin. During labour, female brains produce large amounts of oxytocin, which stimulates contractions and smooths the passage of the baby down the birth canal. Oxytocin also creates a primal, intense bond with the child. Adults in love (or during ecstatic sex) also release high levels of oxytocin.


One thought on “11 facts about the brain”
  1. Just because we use ALL of the components of our brain does not mean we use all of its power (potential) or capacity. The 10% usage is referring to our brain’s potential for information storage and ciphering capability.
    Just like muscles, an exercised brain is more powerful and more utilized than a dormant one.

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