The World of Pregnancy

Curiosities & Myths about the Brain!

The brain has always been a reason to fascinate our curiosity. Although there were countless studies made, the mystery that still covers it hasn`t been completely decoded. Continue reading our article to find out amazing things about the children`s brain and how the brain can influence them for the better or worse.

Myths about the Brain

The brain is the command center of our body. It controls the heart beats, breathing as well as other essential body functions, also being the one to generate emotions and thoughts. It`s a mysterious organ, but hasn`t always enjoyed the attention it deserved. In ancient times, the Egyptians thought that the mind of the human being is in the heart, and considered the brain as an organ of not that much importance. Therefore, during mummification, the brain was often removed, while all the important organs being carefully embalmed.

The first person to give importance to the brain was Dr. Alcmeon from Crotone. He lived 500 BC and had the courage to claim after several dissections that intelligence, thoughts and sensations “come” from the within our brain and not the heart as it was originally thought.

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However, the myth still persisted long after that, until the second century BC when Galen, a roman doctor who used to treat gladiators, noticed that they were starting to lose their mental faculties after being hit in the head.

“Thinking is nothing more than a physical process. We aren`t only educated by our parents, but also by thousands of years of culture behind us, thinking that thought is just as immaterial as air. But when we notice someone who talks about this specific part of the operator field, and on the other hand, you see the brain giving birth to speech and language, it`s an exciting and profound experience,” said Dr. Henry March, a neurosurgeon from the United Kingdom in the “Brain It`s All in Our Mind” documentary.

A Brief Description of the Anatomy of the Brain

The central nervous system includes the brain as well as the spinal cord. The brain consists of 2 hemispheres: the cerebral trunk and cerebellum. Also, the peripheral nervous system includes the spinal and cranial nerves, which act as a relay for transmitting messages between the central nervous system and the sense organs, head muscles and glands.

Basic Definitions

  • Neuron: Nervous, excitable electric cell, which has an important role in transmitting the nerve impulse, which doesn`t divide. It`s made up of a cell body as well as extensions.
  • Myelin: It`s a substance which covers the axon and has an important role of electrically insulating the nerve fibers, which prevents the loss of electrical impulses.
  • Synapse: Connection between neurons; it may be electrical or chemical.
  • Cerebellum: It`s also known as the small brain, actually being the back brain structure which will control motor activities.
  • Gray matter: It`s actually the cerebral bark. This covers the outer surface of the cerebral hemispheres and has an important role in spatial orientation and problem solving. It`s arranged in the shape of the “H” letter on the transversal section.
  • White matter: It`s also known as diencephalon, being a substance which is surrounded by gray matter.
  • Hemishperes: They occupy most of the cranial box along with the big brain. Here are made imagination, making decisions, perception, thinking and reasoning.
  • Corpus Callosum: It`s also callosal commissure, being a nerve fiber beam that joins cerebral hemispheres.

Curiosities about the Brain

You can never say you are aware of the latest news when it comes to the brain, as this organ is still being studied extensively in all schools around the world.

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Interesting Brain Facts

  • 12 – 23W – the energy created by the brain, enough to light a bulb.
  • 000 – the average number of thoughts that a human being has per day.
  • 60% – the mass percentage of the brain which is represented in the fatty tissue.
  • 70% – the water percentage in the brain.
  • 000 to 10.000 – the number of synapses for each neuron.
  • 8 – 10 – the number of seconds a human being man resists without losing consciousness because of the massive blood loss.

If the cerebral cortex`s circumvolutions were carried out, it would spread over more than 2 square meters.

The brain doesn`t feel pain, though it`s the one controlling the whole mechanism. So, the brain is a nervous organ.

Did you know that the brain never sleeps? When our own consciousness rests, the subconscious takes over and becomes active. Actually, it`s believed that at night the brain is even more busy than during the day, with essential process for our mental and physical health.

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How Much Energy Does the Brain Consume?

  • The brain of a human being weighs 2% of the total weight of a normal individual, yet it consumes 25% of the total energy of the body (500kcal/day).
  • This specific organ needs a larger blood amount as well. Around 18% of the total body volume of blood circulates in the brain.

When Does the Brain Die?

  • The brain is able to survive for 4 – 6 minutes with no oxygen.
  • Permanent injuries take place after around 5 minutes from the moment when the brain started to lack of oxygen.

The Most Famous 3 Myths about the Brain

Over time, there were a lot of myths related to brain function, but perhaps the one that was most widely spread is that we only use 5% to 10% of our brain`s capacity. Still, there are recent studies showing that along any activity there are involved several areas of the brain. Also, it was noticed that in time due to the experiences we live we learn to be more efficient. So, it matters how the brain is used and not necessarily how much is used.

The effects of music on the brain is another well known myth that is related to Mozart`s music, being thought to have the power to make the babies who listen to it more intelligent. But further studies have shown that when people listen to any sort of music before a test of thought, they are a bit more enthusiastic and operative, which creates the proper conditions for a better result.

Also, the scientists have another advice for the parents out there. Instead of letting children listen to Mozart`s music, they should better enroll them in specific lessons to learn how to play to an instrument. There`s real evidence that this would improve concentration, coordination abilities and self-confidence.

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Experts have shown that primitive human beings who lived in caves had both the body and brain larger than now, but as they evolved, this organ started to be better used.

Did you know that the brain of human beings weighs about 1.5 kg, the brain of an elephant weighs around 4 to 5 kg and the one of a blue whale can reach even 8 kg? It`s believed that it takes a large brain to move big muscles.

Also, another group of studies on 55 human skulls from 12 distinct populations all over the world ended with some results that were pretty surprising. Therefore, human populations that live further than Equator have larger brains. This doesn`t really mean they are also smarter, but only that they require to have larger areas of vision to accommodate the low light found at large latitudes.

Why Do We Need the Brain?

This might seem a simple question and you may be tempted to say that we need the brain to think and to enable our organism to function. It isn`t necessarily a wrong answer, but Daniel Wolpert, a neuroscientist from United Kingdom has a really surprising answer.

Why human beings and animals have brains? Not all species have brains. The scientists considers that there`s only one reason – to make complex movements and then adapt them.

By moving, we manage to influence things around us one way or another. Everything happens by contracting muscles: sing language, speech, writing or gestures. Cognitive, sensory or memory processes are only essential to begin and stop future movements. According to the researcher, there`s no evolutionary benefit to keep childhood memories or see a rose`s color if it doesn`t influence how you`ll move into life from that point forward. – Visit this page!

“For those who don`t agree with this particular argument, the grass or trees don`t have a brain, but the most clear proof lies in this particular animal – ascidia. It`s a primitive animal, it has a nervous system and swims in the waters of the ocean in its first years of life. At some point, it will catch itself from a rock. The very first thing that it will do (it will never leave that rock again) it will be to digest its brain and nervous system to feed himself. If you don`t have to move anymore, you don`t need a brain,” says Daniel Wolpert.


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