Are you ready for a 5-second experiment? Just think of a color, any color at all really and now think of a tool. Got it? Chances are, you’re thinking of a red hammer right now.
You just witnessed firsthand how your brain handles concepts and categories. For every concept that you surely have a word for, your brain always keeps a classic example in handy- it’s the first thing that comes to mind. But that mental concept isn’t exactly a true reflection of reality.
For example, when we think of the word ‘brain‘, we probably imagine a fairly large, rubbery organ about the size of a head of cauliflower. Or maybe you imagine the human brain to be relatively heavy and sturdy in its shape.
The thing is, most people’s mental concept of the human brain is actually based off of something called ‘fixed’ brain, or better said, a brain that is chemically treated to maintain the integrity of its shape. And to be clear, your ‘unfixed’ brain looks so different that would mesmerize you.
From The Utah University, Dr. Suzanne Stensaas gives us a virtual tour of the unfixed human brain in the following video. You might be surprised at how completely different the texture and structure of your brain actually is!
8 More Surprising Facts About the Brain
It’s also interesting to note that the average adult brain weighs about 3 pounds and only about 6 inches
- Guess what, the human brain is about 73% water. And from that ‘dry’ mass 63% is actually fat; in fact, your brain can be called the fattiest organ in your body.
- Also your brain has about 86 billion neurons. This is called “grey matter” and on the other side billions of nerve fibers called “white matter”. For a fact humans have more neurons per brain area than any other animal on earth. In order to pack that large number of neurons into one space, our brains have those recognizable “folds” we know.
- “ The human brain is complicated and it has many wiggly folds it has like hills and valleys.” says a neurosurgeon and cancer biologist, Eric Holland, at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington.
- You have over 10,000 unique types of neurons- not all brain cells are alike!
- Humans also have the largest frontal lobe of any known animal. This area of the brain is responsible for complex thought which allow us to understand abstract concepts, plan for the future, and so much more!
- Your brain is divided into two hemispheres, and although they’re not exactly identical (for example, your linguistic capabilities usually live mostly in your left hemisphere), there isn’t much evidence for people being ‘left’ or ‘right’ brained.
- While we’re myth-busting, it’s a complete falsehood that humans only use 10% of their brain at a time. You’re always using your whole brain, even when you’re sleeping! But different brain activities fire off different series of neurons.
- Restrictive diets can actually cause the brain to “eat” itself. If you’re not providing your body enough food to send energy to your brain, it will use brain cells as a last resort to keep running.
Watching this video gives us a better appreciation for neurosurgeons. The human brain is a lot more vulnerable than it might seem!