20 Amazing Facts About Your Brain The human brain is amazing and the more I read about it the more fascinated I become with not only it’s limitations, but also it’s immense power. Since I originally wrote the post 30 Amazing Facts About Your Brain I have been on the look out for more amazing tidbits. Here are another 20 for you to wrap your head round, but don’t make the mistake of thinking they don’t apply to you, because they do. 1. Your neocortex (the weird looking bit on the outside of your brain) is only about as thick as a dinner napkin and is made up of 6 layers. However, if you were to pull yours out and stretch out all the folds it would be over 3 feet square. Meet My Wife, Mrs Brownson-Brownson 2. Your brain just loves continuity and it loves familiarity, so even though you may consciously think your partners name had zero to do with you falling in love and it was really their perfectly formed personality, you’d be wrong. 3. Mmmm, Chocolate Cake 4. 5. 6. 7. And The Winner is…….Roland The Rat 8. 9. Read This Blog More
Force of habit: Stress hormones switch off areas of the brain for goal-directed behaviour Cognition psychologists at the Ruhr-Universität together with colleagues from the University Hospital Bergmannsheil (Prof. Dr. Martin Tegenthoff) have discovered why stressed persons are more likely to lapse back into habits than to behave goal-directed. The team of PD Dr. Lars Schwabe and Prof. Two stress hormones in use In order to test the different stress hormones, the cognition psychologists used three substances – a placebo, the stress hormone hydrocortisone and yohimbine, which ensures that the stress hormone noradrenaline stays active longer. Goal-directed behaviour and habits investigated in the experiment In the experiment, all participants – both male and female – learned that they would receive cocoa or orange juice as a reward if they chose certain symbols on the computer. Combined effect of yohimbine and hydrocortisone As expected, volunteers who took yohimbine and hydrocortisone did not behave goal-directed but according to habit.
5 common beliefs about the human brain that are actually totally false MYTH: HUMANS USE ONLY 10 PERCENT OF THEIR BRAIN FACT: The 10 percent myth (sometimes elevated to 20) is mere urban legend, one perpetrated by the plot of the 2011 movieLimitless, which pivoted around a wonder drug that endowed the protagonist with prodigious memory and analytical powers. In the classroom, teachers may entreat students to try harder, but doing so will not light up “unused” neural circuits; academic achievement does not improve by simply turning up a neural volume switch.MYTH: “LEFT BRAIN” and “RIGHT BRAIN” PEOPLE DIFFER FACT: The contention that we have a rational left brain and an intuitive, artistic right side is fable: humans use both hemispheres of the brain for all cognitive functions. The left brain/right brain notion originated from the realization that many (though not all) people process language more in the left hemisphere and spatial abilities and emotional expression more in the right.
Neurogenesis: How To Grow New Brain Cells Adults can still grow new brain cells — neurogenesis — but what are they for? For a long time scientists believed that neurogenesis was impossible: adults had all the brain cells they were ever going to have. Now we know that’s not true. In fact, we continue to grow new brain cells into adulthood. The race is on to find out what these brain cells are for and how we can grow more of them. A new review of the scientific literature, published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, argues that the growth of new cells aids adaptation to the environment (Opendak & Gould, 2015). The authors focus on new cells growing in the hippocampus, an area of the brain linked to memory and learning. Maya Opendak, who co-authored the study, said: “New neurons may serve as a means to fine-tune the hippocampus to the predicted environment.In particular, seeking out rewarding experiences or avoiding stressful experiences may help each individual optimize his or her own brain.” Ms Opendak said:
Right Brain, Left Brain? Scientists Debunk Popular Theory Maybe you're "right-brained": creative, artistic, an open-minded thinker who perceives things in subjective terms. Or perhaps you're more of a "left-brained" person, where you're analytical, good at tasks that require attention to detail, and more logically minded. It turns out, though, that this idea of "brained-ness" might be more of a figure of speech than anything, as researchers have found that these personality traits may not have anything to do with which side of the brain you use more. Researchers from the University of Utah found with brain imaging that people don't use the right sides of their brains any more than the left sides of their brains, or vice versa. "It's absolutely true that some brain functions occur in one or the other side of the brain. Anderson and his colleagues, who published their new study in the journal PLOS ONE, looked at brain scans from 1,011 people between ages 7 and 29.
untitled Neuroplasticity Contrary to conventional thought as expressed in this diagram, brain functions are not confined to certain fixed locations. Neuroplasticity, also known as brain plasticity, is an umbrella term that encompasses both synaptic plasticity and non-synaptic plasticity—it refers to changes in neural pathways and synapses which are due to changes in behavior, environment and neural processes, as well as changes resulting from bodily injury. Neuroplasticity has replaced the formerly-held position that the brain is a physiologically static organ, and explores how - and in which ways - the brain changes throughout life. Neuroplasticity occurs on a variety of levels, ranging from cellular changes due to learning, to large-scale changes involved in cortical remapping in response to injury. Neurobiology Cortical maps Merzenich and DT Blake (2002, 2005, 2006) went on to use cortical implants to study the evolution of plasticity in both the somatosensory and auditory systems.
How The Brain Rewires Itself It was a fairly modest experiment, as these things go, with volunteers trooping into the lab at Harvard Medical School to learn and practice a little five-finger piano exercise. Neuroscientist Alvaro Pascual-Leone instructed the members of one group to play as fluidly as they could, trying to keep to the metronome's 60 beats per minute. Every day for five days, the volunteers practiced for two hours. At the end of each day's practice session, they sat beneath a coil of wire that sent a brief magnetic pulse into the motor cortex of their brain, located in a strip running from the crown of the head toward each ear. The finding was in line with a growing number of discoveries at the time showing that greater use of a particular muscle causes the brain to devote more cortical real estate to it. "Mental practice resulted in a similar reorganization" of the brain, Pascual-Leone later wrote.
Neuropsychology Neuropsychology studies the structure and function of the brain as they relate to specific psychological processes and behaviors. It is seen as a clinical and experimental field of psychology that aims to study, assess, understand and treat behaviors directly related to brain functioning. The term neuropsychology has been applied to lesion studies in humans and animals. In practice neuropsychologists tend to work in research settings (universities, laboratories or research institutions), clinical settings (involved in assessing or treating patients with neuropsychological problems), forensic settings or industry (often as consultants where neuropsychological knowledge is applied to product design or in the management of pharmaceutical clinical-trials research for drugs that might have a potential impact on CNS functioning). History Imhotep The study of the brain can be linked all the way back to around 3500 B.C. Hippocrates René Descartes Thomas Willis
Brain is not fully mature until 30s and 40s (PhysOrg.com) -- New research from the UK shows the brain continues to develop after childhood and puberty, and is not fully developed until people are well into their 30s and 40s. The findings contradict current theories that the brain matures much earlier. Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, a neuroscientist with the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, said until around a decade ago many scientists had "pretty much assumed that the human brain stopped developing in early childhood," but recent research has found that many regions of the brain continue to develop for a long time afterwards. The prefrontal cortex is the region at the front of the brain just behind the forehead, and is an area of the brain that undergoes the longest period of development. Prof. In earlier research Professor Blakemore studied the brains of teenagers in detail, as reported in PhysOrg. Explore further: Study: Our brains compensate for aging
Neurogenesis Neurogenesis (birth of neurons) is the process by which neurons are generated from neural stem cells and progenitor cells. Most active during pre-natal development, neurogenesis is responsible for populating the growing brain with neurons. Recently neurogenesis was shown to continue in several small parts of the brain of mammals: the hippocampus and the subventricular zone. Studies have indicated that the hormone testosterone in vertebrates, and the prohormone ecdysone in insects, have an influence on the rate of neurogenesis. Occurrence in adults New neurons are continually born throughout adulthood in predominantly two regions of the brain: Many of the newborn cells die shortly after they are born, but a number of them become functionally integrated into the surrounding brain tissue. Role in learning Effects of stress Some studies have hypothesized that learning and memory are linked to depression, and that neurogenesis may promote neuroplasticity.
The Human Connectome Project The Human Connectome Project Human Connectome The NIH Human Connectome Project is an ambitious effort to map the neural pathways that underlie human brain function. The overarching purpose of the Project is to acquire and share data about the structural and functional connectivity of the human brain. It will greatly advance the capabilities for imaging and analyzing brain connections, resulting in improved sensitivity, resolution, and utility, thereby accelerating progress in the emerging field of human connectomics. Altogether, the Human Connectome Project will lead to major advances in our understanding of what makes us uniquely human and will set the stage for future studies of abnormal brain circuits in many neurological and psychiatric disorders. Consortia The Blueprint has funded two major cooperative agreements that will take complementary approaches to deciphering the brain's complex wiring diagram. Latest Updates Washington University in St.