The brain is a monstrous, beautiful mess. Its billions of nerve cells - called neurons - lie in a tangled web that displays cognitive powers far exceeding any of the silicon machines we have built to mimic it. - William F. Allman in Apprentices of Wonder. Inside the Neural Network Revolution, 1989.
The brain is the most amazing and complex organ in this universe and its research continues to throw up new facts that surprise’s us. The brain is capable of being modified or improved even as we age. It is never used to its full capacity.
1. The human brain has about 100,000,000,000 or 100 billion neurons. From the age of 35 years about 7000 neurons are lost daily.
2. During early pregnancy the neurons in the fetus can multiply at a rate 250,000 neurons/minute.
3. Brain is composed of 75 to 80% water. Dehydration can affect proper functioning of brain.
4. Brain consists of 60% White matter and 40% Grey matter. White is the supporting matter and Grey is the thinking matter of the brain. If the brain was a computer the grey matter would be the computer itself and the white matter its cables.
5. Adult brain weighs about 3 pounds or 1300 to 1400 Grams. This is about 2% of the body weight if you weigh 150 pounds or 70 kgs. Sperm whale’s brain weighs 7800 gms.
6. Although the brain only accounts for 2 percent of our body weight but it consumes 20% of the oxygen that we breathe and roughly 20 percent of our daily calories.
7. 15-20% of all blood pumped out of the heart goes directly to the brain.
8. All the thinking in the brain is about electricity and chemicals. The brain is more active and thinks more at night than during the day.
9. The brain itself is incapable of feeling pain. Once the skull is opened it is possible to operate on the brain with the patient awake.
10. You can’t feel your own tickle either. The brain is smart enough to neutralize the sensation. The cerebellum sends a signal to rest of the brain of your intentions and as a result the sensation is ignored.