Why Do Our Brains Have Folds? Find Out Some Interesting Facts About Our Brain
Have you seen a picture of the human brain? What is the first thing that comes to mind? Did you think of an oversized walnut? All those folds, all those wrinkles, have you ever thought why our brains were designed like that? How did our brains grow and evolve to finally take that form? What functions or reasons are behind structure? Is the shape of our brains a case of function over form? All this and more will be answered today as we discover our mind, our controlling unit, our brain.
1The Early Man’s Brain
Yes, believe it or not, but the early manor Australopithecus had brains that were the same size as that of a chimpanzee. This was around 4 million years ago and reports claim their brains to be around 35% the size of a modern human brain. Yes, around 35% of your brain today. They stood at around 4 to 5 ft tall and were covered with hair.
2What Is The Size of The Modern Human Brain?
The average modern adult’s brain weighs about 3 pounds. Reports have indicated that by the time we reach the age of 7 our brains have reached 95% of their adult size. Science reports suggest that the human brain has actually shrunk in size over the past 20,000 years. The human brain has gone from 1,500 cc to around 1,350 cc in size.
3The Weight of the Human Brain
The weight of the human brain is around 3lbs which is around 1.5kg. The human brain contributes about 2% of the entire weight of the human body. The brain consumes 20% of the oxygen present within the human body. 75% of the entire brain mass is just water.
4Why the Human Brain is Designed the Way It Is
The human brain is a product of evolution and years of adapting. As humans evolved the brain adapted to the changing environment and the constant human evolution. Humans at the moment have the largest brain to body size. The human brain has the consistency of tofu or Jell-o.
Here are some interesting facts about the human brain:
5The Brain Has No Pain Receptors
Yes, the most important part of the human body cannot feel any pain. This comes in handy while brain surgery is being performed as simple, local anaesthetic is used to numb the scalp after which the surgery can be performed easily. There are surgeries called “Awake Brain Surgery” that are performed these days.
6The Removal of Half Our Brains Do Not Affect Our Personality or Memory
Yes, this may sound like a funny thing but is a hundred percent true. Even if half our brains are removed our personality and memories stay with us. There are operations that removed half the brain and are called “hemispherectomy”. These are rarely performed and only for patients who suffer from a variety of seizure disorders.
7There Is No Left or Right, Both Sides Work Together
You may have heard the left hemisphere of the brain is described as verbal and the right side as perceptual but this isn’t true as both sides of the brain work together. Parts of both brains work together to perform different tasks.
8Humans Use More Than 10% of Their Brain
You must have heard of the myth that humans only use 10% of their brain. There have been many movies based around a drug that lets the user use the entirety of their brain power that results in superpower like experience. But, the fact is humans use over 10% of their brain power at any given moment. There is no evidence to support the notion of only 10% use.
9The Brain Pumps 750 ml of Blood Every Minute
Yes, 750 ml is how much blood a normal adult human brain is able to pump per minute. The normal human body can hold up to 5 litres of blood; this also depends on the size of the body. At any given moment 750 ml of those 5 litres is present in the brain.
10The Energy Produced By the Brain Can Power a Light Bulb
You’ve seen the most used visual description of a person getting an idea is, an imaginary light bulb lighting up. That’s a good visual representation but has a bit truth behind it. While at the height of processing a normal human brain can consume 25 watts of power.
11There Are About 100 Billion Neurons in The Human Brain
Did you know that the brain contains 100 billion neurons? Yes, that’s around 16 times the population of the planet. And just to make that sound even more impressive, each neuron can link to around 10,000 other ones. To put it in simpler terms, the human brain is one large railway connection. All this was a product of evolution and why we can recollect memories and thoughts easily.
12Brain Cells Can Eat Themselves
Yes, this is a last resort sort of thing. In the extreme situation, where the brain isn’t provided proper source of energy, the cells can consume other cells to gain energy to function. This has been seen in cases where people have starved for several days.
13But, Why the Folds?
Finally the last and main question, why the folds? Well simple and quite logical answer, it can hold more. Yes, the human brain is designed in a way that helps more subsistence fit in a smaller space. More folds mean more surface area but it can also fit into a smaller space.
14Think of it logically
If you were asked to put a single long sheet of paper into a small box without tearing it, you would fold it multiple times and it would fit in easily. In the same way if stretched out and straightened the human brain would be long, very long. Research has shown that the folded brain surface has a much greater surface area.