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October 31st, 2007

Picking your brain facts

Where would we be without our brains, eh? Let’s take a quick look at this wonderful organ.

Thanks to Sciensational reader Sidd posting on our biology facts page, we know that

The number of neuron cells in our brain is more than the total number of stars in our galaxy.

That number is about 100 billion! What are neurons? Neurons are electrically charged little cells in our brain to make use of all the information we get from our senses, like eyes, ears, touch, etc. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to make sense of anything at all!

The brain is divided into several parts for study, but for now, let’s take the three major parts of the brain: The Cerebrum, the Cerebellum, and the Brain Stem.

The Cerebrum, also called the forebrain, is responsible for our language, memory, movement and all. As you’re reading this and trying to understand it, you’re using your Cerebrum.

Next, we have the Cerebellum which controls how we understand or ‘perceive’ things through our senses. It is also responsible for our motor controls, which means using our bones and muscles. You are enjoying reading this post while sitting comfortably, with your balance intact, right? That’s thanks to the Cerebellum! To understand the importance of Cerebellum, consider the fact that this brain part’s Latin name actually means “little brain.”

Then we have the lower part of the brain, The Brain Stem. This is where our brain connects to our spinal cord. What does it do? Well, there are many parts of our body that need to work without us being too worried about controlling them deliberately, like the heart pumping and our stomach digesting our food, etc. That’s part of what the Brain Stem is good for! It really keeps our body under control!

Our brain uses quite a lot of energy that we have in our body. In fact, Sciensational reader Anchal Srivastava from Gorakhpur, India sent us this brainy biology facts bit:

The normal energy used by our brain is 0.1 calories per minute, and could go up to 1.5 during activities such as puzzle-solving.

Since our brain is one of the most important organs, it has a king’s share of our body’s resources. Consider the following brain fact:

While only 2% in weight, the human brain requires 15% of the body’s heart work, 20% of oxygen and 25% of all glucose.

How big is it? An average adult human brain weighs around 1300 grams or about 3 pounds. The appearance of the brain is pinkish, but if you looked at it closely, it would seem to contain both white and grey matter. The almost-white matter of the brain is the one that covers nerve fibres and is called myelin. The nerve cells that remain uncovered make for the appearance of the famous ‘grey matter.’

So let’s work our brains, nerves and grey matter for good!

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The posts on the blog are an attempt to loosely explain certain scientific fun facts and trivia. Please always consult an expert for accurate information regarding any subject. If you feel something here doesn't make sense at all, you can contact us.