No other brain in the animal kingdom is capable of generating the kind of higher consciousness associated with human ingenuity, with our ability to make plans and write poetry. Yet the most complex structure in the known universe – as it is often described – is more mysterious than the least-explored regions of the deepest ocean.
– The Independent (UK)
In terms of brain research, we’ve discovered more in the last twenty years than all previous years combined. Much of this can be attributed to the frantic pace of brain imaging technology and other medical advances. As there are currently no signs that this pace is slowing, it is fair to state that we’ll continue to discover amazing tidbits about the brain.
For such a complex structure, the brain is not very large…at all. Roughly the size of our two fists pressed together, our brain weighs no more than 3 pounds (or 1.4 kilograms). For such a small entity, the amount of complexity involved in the brain’s circuitry has earned it the title “the most complex structure in the universe.”
The intricacy of the brain is surpassed only by its ingenuity. Truly, all of the greatest feats the world-over have been a direct result of the brain’s marvelous abilities.
We’ll discuss nine things that you may not know the brain can do. The human brain can…
- Function after death
Near-death experiences (NDE) are a relatively common occurrence. One study undertaken at a hospital in the Netherlands reported that 18 percent of the 344 cardiac patients considered clinically dead recalled having life experiences after the fact.
Pam Reynolds is perhaps one of the best known cases. In Reynold’s case, her brain had been brought to a nonfunctioning state by brain doctors in order to perform surgery. Despite this, she was still able to recall relevant information pertaining to doctor’s conversations, surgical tools, etc.
- Process information faster than any personal computer
Notice that we included the word personal. Amazingly, engineers at Fujitsu designed a super computer that processes information faster. This computer also happens to be huge and inefficient. Our neat, compact brain will work just fine, thank you. Joking aside, the processing power of the human brain steamrolls nearly every man-made tech device.
- Power a light bulb
The sheer number of electrical connections firing at any given time is quite staggering. These electric impulses are so numerous that it could hypothetically power a light bulb. In terms of units of power, the brain can produce the equivalent of about 25 watts.
- Clear out toxins
Wait, doesn’t the immune system help clear toxins from the body? Yes, but the brain does as well. Scientists at the University of Rochester discovered activity in the brain of sleeping mice that showed the “clearing out” of damaging molecules often associated with neurodegeneration. This experiment serves as additional evidence that sleep is important to our brain health.
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