What do you really know about your own brain? Let’s take a closer look at that gelatinous mass between your ears with five weird-but-true brain facts:
Your brain is softer than you probably think. What is the consistency of your brain? Brain tissue has been described as having the same consistency as Jell-O, warm butter and even the inside of an avocado! No wonder a bump on the head while playing sports, riding a bike or even tripping over your own feet can do serious damage.
Your eyeballs are actually a part of your brain. If a mad scientist unhinged your skull and pulled out your brain to inspect it, your eyeballs would come out with it! Sight is the only sense that is connected directly to the brain –optic nerve fibers connect the retina to the brain, information is carried right along to the occipital lobe located in the back of the brain.
Your stomach has been nicknamed your “second brain.” The stomach has been dubbed “the second brain” because it contains such an extensive network of neurons that it can function independently of the main brain between your ears. No other organ can function independently of the brain in your head. This extensive network of neurons also allows the stomach to evaluate information, stress or the environment and respond with a “gut instinct,” that “knotted” feeling if you’re under stress, or “butterflies” when you’re nervous.
Your brain has no feelings. Your brain can tell you if you’re in pain, but it can’t feel pain itself because it doesn’t have a nerve system of its own! That’s why a surgeon can poke you in the brain while you’re AWAKE (creepy, right?) and you won’t feel anything. So why do you feel the pain of a headache? It’s because of the effect of pressure on nerve tissue and blood vessels.
Your brain can physically reorganize itself. Neuroplasticity is a fancy way of saying the brain is plastic—it can be molded, reshaped and changed—and it has this ability at every age throughout our entire lives. Scientists now know that, in response to intense mental exercises, the brain can be stimulated to strengthen, reroute and even create new neural pathways. This increases the efficiency with which brain cells communicate with each other. Think of it as defragmenting your computer. Suddenly everything is running faster and more efficiently than before! This is what one-on-one brain training does for kids and adults of every age. Wouldn’t you like to have a faster, smarter brain?