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FACT # 218

10 Sep

Brain Function

From the invisible workings of the brain to more visible responses such as yawns or intelligence, find out how the brain functions with these facts.

  1. Oxygen. Your brain uses 20% of the total oxygen in your body.
  2. Blood. As with oxygen, your brain uses 20% of the blood circulating in your body.
  3. Unconsciousness. If your brain loses blood for 8 to 10 seconds, you will lose consciousness.
  4. Speed. Information can be processed as slowly as 0.5 meters/sec or as fast as 120 meters/sec (about 268 miles/hr).
  5. Wattage. While awake, your brain generates between 10 and 23 watts of power–or enough energy to power a light bulb.
  6. Yawns. It is thought that a yawn works to send more oxygen to the brain, therefore working to cool it down and wake it up.
  7. Neocortex. The neocortex makes up about 76% of the human brain and is responsible for language and consciousness. The human neocortex is much larger than in animals.
  8. 10%. The old adage of humans only using 10% of their brain is not true. Every part of the brain has a known function.
  9. Brain death. The brain can live for 4 to 6 minutes without oxygen, and then it begins to die. No oxygen for 5 to 10 minutes will result in permanent brain damage.
  10. Highest temperature. The next time you get a fever, keep in mind that the highest human body temperature ever recorded was 115.7 degrees–and the man survived.
  11. Stress. Excessive stress has shown to “alter brain cells, brain structure and brain function.”
  12. Love hormones and autism. Oxytocin, one of the hormones responsible for triggering feelings of love in the brain, has shown some benefits to helping control repetitive behaviors in those with autism.
  13. Food and intelligence. A study of one million students in New York showed that students who ate lunches that did not include artificial flavors, preservatives, and dyes did 14% better on IQ tests than students who ate lunches with these additives.
  14. Seafood. In the March 2003 edition of Discover magazine, a report describes how people in a 7-year study who ate seafood at least one time every week had a 30% lower occurrence of dementia.
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