- Size: 1350 cubic centimeters
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Neurons: 15-33 billion
- Brainless Animals: Sponge, jellyfish, sea star
- Parts: Cerebrum, cerebellum, brainstem
- Functions: Information processing, motor control
- Brain Food: Fish oil, nuts, avocados, wholegrains
- Brain Diseases: Meningitis, strokes, seizures, tumors, Alzheimer’s
- Body System: Nervous system
- Biggest Brain: Sperm Whale
- Smallest Brain: Green Lizard
- Myths: The Brain Is Not a Muscle
- Parts: The Human Brain Has More Than 100 Billion Cells
- Parts: Brains Are Made of Neurons and Glial Cells
- Food: Fish, Nuts, and Whole Grains Are Brain Food
- Functions: The Brain Functions as the Body’s Control Center
- Vitamins: Vitamins, Magnesium and Folic acid Can Boost Brain Power
- Parts: The Cerebrum Is Divided into Six Lobes
- Disease: Types of Brain Disease Can Include Infections, Degeneration, and More
- Myths: We Use 100% of Our Brains, Not 10%
- Brain Injury Is Caused by Different Traumas
- Strokes and Tumors Can Affect the Brain
- The Sperm Whale Has the Largest Brain
- The Green Anole Lizard Has the Smallest Brain
- Brain Injury in Football Players Makes Headlines
- Brain Size Does Not Correlate with Intelligence
- Encephalization Quotient Is a Better Representation of Intelligence
The Brain Is Not a Muscle
While we talk about exercising our brains and increasing brainpower, the brain is not actually a muscle. Brain facts show there is no muscle tissue in the brain. The brain is an organ that is responsible for numerous bodily functions. Our brains control our breathing and send messages to our muscles, telling them to move.
The Human Brain Has More Than 100 Billion Cells
The brain is a hub of activity and, in order to keep everything functioning correctly, it takes a lot of cells! There are more than 100 billion cells in the human brain that ensure our bodies are constantly moving when we tell them to, processing information from our eyes, ears, mouths, and skin, and making new memories.
Brains Are Made of Neurons and Glial Cells
Brain facts indicate that two types of cells make up the brain: neurons and glial cells. Glial cells are the foundation and infrastructure of the brain, while neurons are the messengers, sending information to different parts of the body.
Fish, Nuts, and Whole Grains Are Brain Food
Certain foods are believed to be very beneficial for the brain. Some of these foods are higher in good fats, such as fish, avocados and nuts. Others contain what some people think of as brain vitamins that may boost brainpower. These foods include leafy greens and olive oil. Wholegrains provide glucose as a source of energy for the brain.
The Brain Functions as the Body’s Control Center
Our brains are the control centers for our bodies. The brain controls all the other organs of the body. It secretes hormones and provides information regarding, for example, which arm to move and when. It creates and holds memories, synthesizes what our eyes see, makes sense of what we touch, and provides the ability for conscious thought.
Vitamins, Magnesium and Folic acid Can Boost Brain Power
Brain facts show that vitamin E, from fish, nuts, and leafy greens, may help protect the brain from free radicals. Magnesium, also found in leafy greens and nuts, fights neurotoxins. Vitamin B12, from meat, can assist with memory. Folic acid from leafy greens and beans fights amino acids that may damage brain cells. Vitamin B6 helps to boost serotonin and can be found in kale, cranberries and garlic.
The Cerebrum Is Divided into Six Lobes
According to brain facts, initially the categorization of the brain into different lobes was done for anatomical reasons. With time, it became clear that the lobes are related to different functions and abilities. The frontal lobe is responsible for conscious thought. The parietal lobe helps us integrate sense information. The temporal lobe is responsible for smell and sound and the occipital lobe is responsible for sight. The limbic lobe deals with memories and emotions, while the insular cortex is the pain center.
Types of Brain Disease Can Include Infections, Degeneration, and More
There are many different types of diseases can affect the brain. Infections such as meningitis cause swelling around the brain. Encephalitis causes swelling of brain tissues. Degeneration is the breakdown of parts of the brain. Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, ALS, and Alzheimer’s are neurodegenerative brain diseases caused by the deterioration of certain parts of the brain.
We Use 100% of Our Brains, Not 10%
It’s a common myth that we only use 10% of our brains. The truth is, we actually use our entire brains. Our brains use 20% of our body’s energy, in part because they are constantly active, even when we aren’t.
Brain Injury Is Caused by Different Traumas
In addition to brain diseases, the brain is susceptible to different injuries. Trauma to the head can cause concussions, hemorrhages and traumatic brain injury. Brain facts show these can cause permanent damage to the brain.
Strokes and Tumors Can Affect the Brain
Two other types of brain diseases are strokes and tumors. Strokes occur when blood flow to the brain is stopped, generally by a clogged artery. Strokes can lead to brain damage, paralysis, and death.
Tumors are growths of abnormal tissues. In the brain, tumors can affect different things depending on where they are located. For example, tumors in the occipital lobe can affect sight and tumors in the frontal lobe can affect mood and behaviors.
The Sperm Whale Has the Largest Brain
The average adult male sperm whale has a brain that is 8,000 cubic centimeters. That’s more than six times the size of the average human brain. Sperm whales are more than 10 times the size of the average adult male, though, so their brain-to-body-mass ratio is not the largest.
The Green Anole Lizard Has the Smallest Brain
There are animals with no brains and animals with nerve centers that resemble brains. If we exclude those animals, the animal with the smallest brain is thought to be the green anole, a lizard commonly sold as a pet.
Brain Injury in Football Players Makes Headlines
Brain injury in football players has been a common feature in the news, especially now that a judge decided football players can file a class action suit against the NFL. Concussions are a common football injury and have been shown to affect brain function, especially repeated concussions over time. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a brain injury that is currently only diagnosed after death. It is a degenerative disease that is caused by repeated brain trauma, such as those suffered by many football players. So far, it has most commonly been found to affect athletes in contact sports like football, hockey and wrestling.
Brain Size Does Not Correlate with Intelligence
Brain facts indicate that brain size is not correlated with intelligence. While the human is considered the smartest animal, it does not have the largest brain. Animals with larger brains include whales and elephants. Brain size most commonly corresponds with body size.
Encephalization Quotient Is a Better Representation of Intelligence
Since brain size doesn’t correlate with intelligence, scientist created the encephalization quotient. It is a measure of relative brain size in proportion to the size of an animal. So far, this ratio has only been developed for mammals. Unsurprisingly, humans have the highest encephalization quotient with a range of 7.4-7.8. They are followed by the tucuxi, an Amazonian river dolphin, and the bottlenose dolphin. Orcas and chimpanzees round out the top five mammals on the encephalization quotient list.
Brain Facts – Facts about the Brain Summary
The human brain is part of the central nervous system. It is an organ, not a muscle, and is made up of over 100 billion cells. The two main brain cells are neurons and glial cells. The average human brain weighs around three pounds and has a volume of about 1,300 cubic centimeters. There are several diseases and injuries that can affect the brain, including meningitis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. For optimal brain health, it is recommended that people eat leafy greens, fatty fish, nuts, and beans, to get enough brain-friendly vitamins.