The brain is a fascinating organ. Just think about it, every minute of everyday your brain is working for you, connecting with every part of your body through a system of synapses and messengers to make sure you breathe, walk, talk, eat, sleep and do all the things you tend to do in a day. To appreciate just how amazing the brain is, consider these ten facts:
10 Amazing Facts About the Brain
- Mental activity can strengthen the connections between neurons (aka synapses), which in turn improves the survival rate for neurons and cognitive functioning.
- Watching TV is the only leisure activity that we know can reduce cognitive function.
- Sphenopalatine ganglion neuralgia (SPG) is the scientific term for what we know as “brain freeze.” The sensation, which often occurs when we eat something cold such as ice cream, is caused by the SPG nerves, and are the same nerves known to cause headaches. They are highly sensitive to pain, likely as a way of protecting the brain.
- Because neuroplasticity is life-long, our lifestyles are just as important as our genes when it comes to how our brain and mind grow and evolve.
- Our brains are constantly producing neurons—all throughout our lives. It’s called neurogenesis.
- Hydration matters! One study showed that dehydration, even mild cases, can affect concentration, memory and mood in young women. Another study found similar results in young men.
- The idea that a person can be left-brained or right-brained? That’s a myth.
- Have you ever described yourself as a multitasker? If you answered “yes,” whelp, you lied. It turns out that multitasking is virtually impossible. What we think of as multitasking is actually context-switching. In layman’s terms, this is the idea that we’re “switching back and forth between different tasks”, but we are most definitely not doing them at the same time. Additionally, context-switching isn’t that great of a thing. Research has found our rate of error tends to increase by 50 percent when we do this.
- As we get older, our brains get smaller. This tends to happen around middle age.
- During waking hours our brain generates around 12 to 25 watts of electricity, which is enough to power a small light bulb!
Enrich the Mind
Providing the brain with enrichment such as exercise, reading, exploring, and learning helps support the brain’s plasticity—its ability to adapt and change. Using a tool such as the Focus System can help strengthen the life-long processes that support emotional regulation, concentration, and cognitive development.