What do we know about our brain and intelligence? Exercises for the brain, increasing IQ, the birth of brilliant ideas, the power of imagination and other useful information.
Whether the IQ can change, how is the state of half-sleep useful, why we are nostalgic - the authors of the book "The Brain: A Brief Guide" tell about this and much more. Find out 11 startling facts about your brain right now:
Amazing mechanism. The brain is a tightly interwoven network of 86 billion "wires" - neurons with another 86 billion supporting cells. There are more neural connections in our brain than there are stars in our galaxy.
If all the neural pathways were stretched out in one line, it would have a length of about 160,000 kilometers, and hundreds of thousands of trillions of trains would travel along it back and forth exactly on schedule at speeds of up to 400 kilometers per hour. Like an incredible supercomputer, our brains are many light-years ahead of everything that humans have created so far.
Why we are nostalgic. The hippocampus is a particularly dense area of clusters of neurons that are connected to just about every other part of your brain. This zone helps to keep track of where you are in space, allows you to fantasize, remember the events of the past, it is vital for the ability to imagine the future.
These functions are closely related, as many of our memories of life events are closely intertwined with the places in which they occurred: when you return to a specific place, the corresponding images will be resurrected. Therefore, going to the school where you studied can trigger a rush of long-forgotten memories.
As a military outpost of your brain, it constantly scans incoming data for potential threats and is always ready to press the "panic" button - the "fear reaction" the second they are detected. This part of the brain, in an instant after the perception of a loud sound or an object rapidly approaching you, will make you recoil or freeze in place even before you realize everything.
Neuroplasticity - the most amazing property of the brain. Learning provokes physical changes in our brains. Drivers of famous London black cabs spend years absorbing "knowledge" - an almost incredible amount of information for any person to process, including the location of 25,000 streets and 20,000 attractions that a passenger will want to visit.
During the assimilation of all this information, the hippocampus of a London taxi driver physically increases in size due to all the additional connections that are formed to preserve new knowledge, and after retirement it returns to its normal size.
Rescue glass of water. Your brain is 73% water. The efficiency with which it sends electrical impulses across more than 150,000 kilometers of neural networks is diminished when the brain is dehydrated. Every time you wake up, he's a little dehydrated.
People who exercise regularly enjoy uninterrupted brain function longer. In fact, exercise increases the rate at which new cells form in the hippocampus. It is more important than all other factors to stay sane until the very end. Give yourself at least 20 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day.
The power of imagination. Many experiments have been carried out over the years on people mastering new skills, from playing basketball to playing the piano. An interesting fact was discovered that regardless of whether the person actually practiced or instead had a vivid idea of how he was doing it, within a few days, changes in the brain were noted.
Incredibly, the progress in those who only imagined how to practice was almost as significant as in those who actually exercised.
It is now known that the IQ level around the world increases by an average of three points every ten years! But what contributes to this growth? As far as we can tell, the reason is our use of new technologies. The amount of information we have access to has grown dramatically, primarily through television, then the Internet. The more information our brain learns on a daily basis, the smarter, as you can see, we become.
Myths about multitasking. The brain cannot work on several tasks at once. Women are known for their ability to multitask, but the fact that they are working on parallel tasks is an illusion.
The reason women are better able to do multiple things at the same time is because they cost less to switch between them than men. However, both sexes face the negative consequences of endless switching from task to task instead of fixing on one thing from the beginning to its completion.
When brilliant ideas are born. Your brain doesn't fall asleep all at once; different parts of it go into sleep mode and turn it off at different times. The areas of the brain are turned off one after another for about 20 minutes, some areas become unable to receive and send messages through neural networks with which they are usually in close communication. This means that parts of the brain that have not yet fallen asleep work autonomously, performing their tasks without the usual communication with other areas.
The activation of OFA in response to certain pungent odors was significantly increased when people were told that they were being asked to appreciate the aroma of high-quality cheese. In another situation, the subjects were told that the same smell is the smell of a pair of dirty socks. The takeaway is that your expectations can radically affect how you perceive specific images, smells, and tastes - positively or negatively.