Revealing the Brain
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Image of brainHow much do you know about arguably the most important organ in your body? Yes, your brain. The ancient Egyptians believed it was useless and discarded it before mummifying the pharaohs. While our understanding of how the brain functions has grown exponentially especially in the past twenty years, we still know relatively little.

First some basics, it weighs three pounds, occupies a volume of 1.7 liters, and sixty percent of it is fat! The consistency is like soft cheese or tofu so be grateful it’s protected by our hard skulls. Despite being relatively small, it consumes a large part of our body’s resources; 20 percent of our oxygen and a quarter of our glucose.

Now here are some fascinating facts you may not know. Over the past five thousand years our brains have actually shrunk by ten percent! So are we less smart than our predecessors? Not likely. It may reflect changes in our diet, living environment, climate and increased social interactions.

Another great fact; your brain has upwards of ten thousand miles of axon connections which connect the neurons, allowing your brain to do its work. Forget the old adage that you use only ten percent of your brain. We use all areas of our brain every day, all day, even when we’re asleep.

While our brains don’t mature until our twenties, we’ve learned in recent years the brain continues to form new connections throughout life in a process called brain plasticity. Finally, do you know why surgeons can perform brain surgery on someone who’s awake? Because there are no pain receptors there!

Neat stuff! And we’ve got a lot more to learn about this electrical organ of ours. Yep, at 25 watts, our brain is literally an electrical device.