All our actions, the activities, and the smartness we exhibit and even our existence, all is controlled by a very powerful thing: the brain! All mammals have brain, but what a human brain carries cannot be defined.
We can say that the human brain is the master of all the masters. Am I correct? A power of a human brain is beyond imagination! It can create a new world and can destroy everything! So magnificent a tiny thing can be! No wonder!
Let us know more about what we carry on our head!
What is human brain?
Normally, people can relate to a human brain as the main body part which governs everything within us. Any action we undertake, which is as simple as breathing or as complex as driving a car, is the command of the human brain.
Even the mechanism behind you reading this article right now is also a brain task. How fascinating a human brain can be! The more you discover, the more you realise that there is a lot to explore.
Our nervous system is classified into two parts:
- Central nervous system (CNS)
- Peripheral nervous system (PNS)
The central nervous system is made up of brain and spine. Hence, the human brain forms the major headquarter of our body!
It takes signals from the sensory nerves and commands the muscles to take necessary action. The speed of receiving and transferring signal is beyond your imagination. It all happens in fraction of seconds!
Brain is located in the top floor of our head, all protected by the hard skull. It is not as simple as it seems in images. A very complex and intricate system, the brain causes brainstorming while doing research work!
Human brain mapping
What actually is brain mapping? At first thought, we get confused. But brain mapping is nothing but studying brain deeper and deeper.
Learning about its each and every cell, and understanding its deepest functions is the main aim of doing brain mapping.
The ones who are studying the neuroscience will find the 3D brain models very familiar. Can you estimate how the idea of the brain models came from?
All thanks to the advancing technology and the techniques used to carry out the brain mapping process.
The science has advanced and the techniques have been modified to suit the present scenario. Usually research work is done on donated brains.
They are kept in preserving liquid called formalin. Later on, whenever needed to conduct a study, a brain is used accordingly. It may be cut into thin slices and mounted on to a slide.
The scanning and observation can be carried out once the material gets fixed.
Brain mapping plays a vital role in study purposes as it tells you about the size, structure and function of the brain. Moreover, in critical situations such as during a disease Alzheimer, brain mapping helps in studying which portion gets affected in what manner.
Electroencephalograph (EEG), Positron emission tomography (PET), Computer axial tomography (CAT) and Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are some commonly used techniques in brain mapping.
Weight of human brain
Every action begins from our brain and ceases at the same. It is believed that the brain has approximately 86 billion neurons. Such a huge number and a tiny space, how does it all fit in?
It is believed that the human brain weighs about 3 pounds or 1500 grams approximately. However, long ago, a human brain weighing 2100 grams was discovered. Exceptions are always there.
The materialistic constitution of human brain gives it a characteristic weight. The weight however differs at different stages of life.
The adult brain weighs about 1500 grams but the weight of the brain of a new born is 400-500 grams. If we say it in a graphical manner, the brain weight is least during the birth.
Its weight increases as the child grows into an adult. The brain weight now decreases with progressing senescence. The old people have been observed to carry the brain weight of approximately 1300g.
You will be amused to hear that the average weight is more in cold climate than in the warm one!
Human brain anatomy
You very well know that the brain is an integral part of our body which needs the best protection. The skull serves the purpose of shielding the brain. The brain has four lobes:
- Frontal lobe
- Parietal lobe
- Temporal lobe
- Occipital lobe
These four lobes classify the brain into characteristic four regions.
Also, the brain itself is composed of three parts:
- The cerebrum
- The cerebellum
- Brain stem
Each part has its own specific function.
The largest part, the cerebrum, is responsible for the following functions:
- Visualising and interpreting
- Listening and interpreting
- Thinking capacity
- Action and any reaction
- Speech and its orientation
- Reasoning ability
And much more.
Cerebrum is followed by Cerebellum. Cerebellum does the coordinating part. It maintains a synchronisation between signals and motor movement.
It is responsible for conducting the muscle movements. It also is responsible for keeping the body aligned. Just imagine if you had no control on your muscles.
You would have wanted to sit but your body must have been running and running. You would have wanted to cook food but your hands must be busy dealing with the TV remote! How funny would have been the scenario!
Brainstem forms the major connection. It connects the cerebrum and cerebellum, and governs the dominant mechanisms taking place in our body.
Do you know how do you sneeze and cough? And how do you distinguish between the sleeping time and the waking time? The brainstem does it all.
The surface of the brain can be easily observed as rough and something which has been coiled.
The coiled surface is the cortex. Cortex is composed of billions of neurons, all connected to each other. The signal is relayed with the help of these neurons only.
Anatomy is just not limited to these regions. There is a lot to discover in each and every part of the human brain.
Human brain capacity
We often remember the incidents dated back to our childhood. Whether it is 20 years or 60 years or more, a human brain remembers everything!
The memory is stored in our brain, just like you store your data in your computer. However, the capacity of the brain is vast!
It is often believed we use only 10% of our brain. This is not true. Scientifically, it is well proved that we use all of our brain. But certain portions remain idle.
The activity of these regions is not known and thus it is inferred that the potential of the brain is still unknown.
If we talk upon proper figures of memory storage, then a human brain has the storage of about 2.5 petabytes (which is a huge multiplication of gigabytes).
This will account for up to 342 years of storage. Can a human being live such long to utilise the brain memory fully?
The intelligence and smartness a human brain can exhibit relates to huge amount of energy. It is not an easy task to prepare your brain to release its true potential.
Human brain parts
The brain is a complex part. We have tried to simplify the basic explanation of the brain parts.
- The major parts of the brain are: cerebrum, cerebellum and brainstem.
- The cerebrum is the upper frontal part, which can be divided into left and right hemispheres.
- The cerebrum is made up of a mass called cortex or neo-cortex.
- The line that divides the cerebrum into two parts is called the longitudinal fissure.
- Cortex is coiled. The outer folding is called gyrus, and the inner folding is called sulcus.
- The cerebellum is the posterior part.
- The brain stem consists of medulla, pons and mid-brain.
- The cortex covers the thalamus, hypothalamus and the pituitary gland.
- There are four lobes, which have been mentioned before.
- Brain has billions of neurons which conduct the electrical and chemical messages, and are responsible for relaying the command.
The human brain facts
Amazing facts have always been my favourite since childhood. Many of us like the facts. But, only if they carry the true information, they are reliable. Here are some interesting facts we bring to you:
- You know that the brain is so small as compared to our body. Right? Then, such a small part would require how much of energy? Well, the intelligence and smartness you have got inside yourself is a result of utilisation of great amount of energy. Your brain takes more energy than you may think. Working all day is not an easy task!
- Maximum portion of your brain is water! It doesn’t look like containing so much water in it. And, dehydrating your brain can be really dangerous! You must be aware of the mental problems one may face.
- People have developed a habit of saying that about a 100 billion neurons exist in brain. But, to be more precise, there are about 84 billion neurons. 16 billion is a huge number of neurons to be ignored.
- Oxygen is the food for brain. Proper supply of oxygen maintains the proper functioning of brain. Even if you miss out 4 minutes of oxygen, your brain will get damaged.
- Brain growth occurs rapidly from 5 years of age to the 12 years.
- You can have approximately 45 thoughts in a minute. Never knew we humans can be so thoughtful.
- The signals the brain conducts are all in chemical and electrical form. So, it can be said that thousands of chemical reactions occur inside your just 3 pounds little thing on the head.
- Albert Einstein, the genius, whose brain has been given a lot of significance, is lower in weight than of the normal brain. How? Size doesn’t tell the capacity. The neurons of his brain were much efficient and powerful.
- When you do multiple tasks together, you are mistaken by the fact that your brain is becoming sharp. It is not like that. In fact the focus decreases on a single task, and the efficiency decreases as well.
- Sometimes specific aromas as that of chocolate, petrol etc have a relaxing effect upon your brain. Do you why? The aromas these substances have send your brain some waves which trigger the relaxation feeling.
- People who hold back to the thoughts unnecessarily tend to have a weaker brain capacity. The ones who have a “let go” attitude and delete the unnecessary thoughts, have a strong capacity.
- Improper sleep and mobile phone addiction can cause brain damage! Time to stay away from your mobile phones a little bit!
- Male brains are bigger than female brains. But, do not go on the fact that big brains have more smartness. Women rule the world!
There is a lot more to explore. The more you read at different sources, the more you gain knowledge. Carry on reading!
Human brain diagram
Real human brain
A real human brain gives me Goosebumps. A chilly feeling flourishes all over me. And, when you handle it, the wiggly human brain will give you an unusual feeling.
The ones who are in the process of becoming doctors are used to the brain handling as a variety of experiments are done in their study work.
Here is an image of what a real human brain looks like:
It is not a walnut. It is a real human brain!
Structure of human brain
To explain it all in images, we have this self explanatory picture:
Human brain size
There is a misconception that the brain with bigger size has more intelligence and smartness. Increase in mass does not signify increase in brain capacity. In fact, the intelligence is all a matter of efficiency of the neurons and their connections.
The size of the brain is 1130 centimetre cube for women and 1260 centimetre cube for men.
How human brain works?
All the mammals, whether a whale or a dog, possess a brain. But, is their brain capacity similar to that of humans? Humans have the ability to reason and think, but do these abilities exist in other mammals? Obviously not! There is something unique about the human brain.
Let us further study about the brain and it’s working.
The brain is a compilation of a dense network of neurons. These neurons are responsible for the conduction of messages. Do you know the structure of a neuron?
A neuron has three main parts:
- Soma: this is the main cell which contains a nucleus suspended in a cytoplasm.
- Axon: these are the projections of the cell, which are responsible for carrying the electrical signals.
- Dendrites or Nerve endings: the branches you could see at the cell body or soma are called dendrites. They have much of a tree-branching like appearance. Also, the nerve endings are found at the ends. They act as the connectors to the further neurons.
The neurons are classified into three types: the sensory neurons, the motor neurons and the inter-neurons. The sensory nerves bring the signals from the body parts to the CNS.
The motor nerves bring the signals from CNS to body parts. And, as clear by the term itself, the inter-neurons are the connective neurons.
A single stimulus gives rise to the whole set of actions. The message is decoded and then the command is issued. The command is then executed and the reflex action is generated.
It is worth appreciating the way our neurons work in! A perfect synchronisation and a perfect harmony!
Human brain development
While the baby is still inside the womb, the major of the brain developments take place right there. The neurons are formed and the connections are easily visible through the transparent skin.
The branching occurs and the capacity to deliver the messages slowly builds up. A woman should take care of her diet as sufficient intake is required for the brain development.
Folic acid and some other vitamins and minerals are required to be present in the diet!
As the baby takes birth, the skills begin developing one by one. The movement is slowly mastered and the reasoning skills develop. The thinking capacity increases. Emotions and intellectual behaviour develops.
The baby is able to distinguish between the important things! For better development, a baby needs to be provided with all the nutrients. Make him/her eat the best and healthy for the appropriate brain development.
The brain development undergoes many stages, which can be easily seen from age 7 to the 22. The young teens are very immature. With growing age, the brain attains a stage of maturity.
The youth have the most creative and innovative power. The brain and its thought process are at its best during this age. The peak levels of brain development are during this time period only.
After a few years, the brain development shows a downhill path. It comes all the way down as you progress towards your twilight years. The senescence has been observed with decreased brain capacities.
Your brain needs perfect food for its development. Thus, you need to ensure the proper supply of essential nutrients!
Human brain functions
Human brain functions need not be mentioned. Everything which controls you and your actions is the brain activity. You sit, you stand, you run, you jump and even when you sleep, your brain is always active to look after you. When are you going to care about it?