15 Things We Still Don't Understand About The Brain

There is one small and very mysterious place in the universe - your brain. That’s right. While every healthy person is born with brains, we still know little about this biological structure.

What we know for sure, is that it uses 20-25% of your daily calories and oxygen, which is a lot if you keep in mind that brain weight is only 2% of an average person’s mass. Also, it transmits electrochemical signals throughout your body, so you would be able to move and take care of yourself.

However, these facts are pretty basic and don’t give details about how the brain works. On the other hand, other organs were much easier to research, so we know much more about them than about the brain. Kidneys, eyes, skin, and the stomach are just a few examples about which we learned much sooner.

The good news is that today, we have a lot better technologies and professional researchers than before. So, in recent years, studies about why we need brains and how they work gave great results and many thought-provoking ideas. Some of these ideas became facts, while others are still questionable.

Want to learn about the brain's mysteries that still have to be discovered? Then move below and find intriguing answers!


15 How Can It Work So Fast?

Many researchers say that our brain works as a supercomputer. Yet, to say that it’s a computer, even if it would be the best computer we have today, would mean that our brains are very slow. After all, your brain is at least 1,000,000 times faster than any computer.

While scientists aren’t sure how it works so fast, this could be because we have many different centers in the brain. Listening, speaking, vision, and many other centers are found in the brain, and together, form a great team that is capable of working at a super fast speed.

So, if every of these centers can work independently, this means that the brain is capable of doing many different tasks at the same time, while computers are capable of doing only one task. This means that even if computers would be as fast as the brain, they would need to be multitaskers to achieve the same speed.

14 Why Do We Sleep?

Perhaps you've heard healthy lifestyle specialists encouraging you to sleep more, right? But the fact is that they themselves aren’t sure how much sleep we need to feel better. Sleep doesn’t provide energy as food does, so it’s a great question: how it can make you energetic?

It could be because people, as well as all mammals, reptiles, and birds, need to sleep to save the needed information they get while awake. This fact could explain why people sleep more than most animals, as we do a lot more mental work, while animals concentrate on physicality and don’t need to learn less in their lives.

13 How Does It Decide What To Remember?

As you consciously live, you always experience something new to have something to remember. But why aren't all memories stored, especially from the early days and while we do boring tasks?

This may be because our brains create new structures in itself, only to save the most needed information. First, thoughts come as electrochemical impulses, that if they stay in the brain for too long, start to signalize that are important and should stay in your memory by creating additional structures that could keep the new information.

So, if you learn something useless, there could be a higher chance that you’ll forget it to save nutrients, energy, and space for more important information to be stored in the future.

12 Is The Brain Responsible For Your Personality?

While it’s difficult to say how much the brain is responsible for how you act in life, we know that there are other important factors that influence how you decide what is right and what is wrong.

For instance, it was found that bacteria living in your gut can influence what people are thinking about. So, if you have many small “bad guys” in your digestive system, then you may be more irritated and stressed. This could mean that the brain may not be the place where your personality lives, or could only be highly influenced by other factors coming from your whole body.

11 Is The Brain Just A Computer?

Some futurists suggest that if we could scan all stored memories in our brain, we could recreate ourselves in the digital world and live in something similar to a video game.

There is another opinion that the brain has many differences in its structure and work methodology. This could mean that adding your memories wouldn’t be enough to “transport” you to a computer. Or, even worse, by doing a brain scan, you could even die, as the only way to get the information about your memories is to cut the brain into small pieces and then scan.

Sounds horrible? It is, but it’s the only idea scientist have how they could transfer your memories.

10 Does Unconsciousness Control Us?

For many years, researchers were interested in “free will;” to choose what we want to do by ourselves, rather than ideas controlled by unconsciousness.

As researchers show, unconsciousness works 90% of the time, so most things you do, you do unconsciously. Researchers said that it could be because we learn a lot in our lives and all information that we repeatedly do becomes habitual. This allows us to avoid becoming overwhelmed with too many daily thoughts like going through the motions of life.

9 How Can It Work So Well?

An astonishing thing about the brain is how it can work. Learning and remembering so many different things at once and being able to sense and do all sorts of activities at the same time is an ability even the best computers lack.

Perhaps this is due to different centres of the brain that work as “mini brains,” and do their own activities. By combining the whole information into one, different centres allow us to function properly and do activities we need to do to survive.

Also, other body parts could also help these centres do their work. For instance, did you know that some of the heart’s cells are neurons; the same cells that are found in the brain and are responsible for saving and transmitting signals?


8 What Is Consciousness?

Some believe that consciousness is a quantum effect that creates itself when chemicals in the brain work together. Others say that there should be a specific part of the brain that is responsible for being conscious. And for some, that consciousness is a soul living in a body.

If we could solve this conundrum, we would know a lot more not only about the brain, but about the whole world. It would allow us to understand what is needed to feel, be alive and experience the conscious reality as we and other organisms can. To find the answer to this question, physics, biologists, futurists, and religious leaders are proposing many ideas, so let’s hope that they will soon succeed.

7 Why Do We Dream?


Some people have difficulty remembering what they dream about. But the truth is that everyone dreams, but only some of us remember our dreams. So, if everyone dreams, then dreams should have an important meaning in our lives, right?

After all, some of them can show us the problems we have, but don’t realize that they exist. But if we dream while asleep, then how we are able to create such realistic imaginable worlds? Maybe dreams are just another world that allows us to be better prepared for what we’ll be doing in reality?

Also, there is another question: do we see dreams because we have brains?

6 How Did The Brain Grow So Fast?

Some suggest that it happened as our ancestors started to get more different nutrients from different products that other monkeys avoided. Nuts, seeds, meat, and fish are a just a few additional products we incorporated in our diet while traveling through new regions to survive.

Also, it could be because we started to use fire that allowed to better digest food, so more energy was saved on digesting food. This means that we had more unused energy than before. But it could be a mix between other important factors like an ability to learn from each other’s mistakes and share useful information with others.

5 Plants Don't Need The Brain

Yes, hormones also influence our behavior but in plants, they are much more important as they have to take care for a whole organism without the brain.

However, even if their hormones are much more effective in keeping plants in control, there should be something else that helps them. This could be mushrooms. Sounds fun, but it’s the truth. Over 90% of plants live with mushrooms to help each other by providing nutrients, protection against other organisms and maybe additional functions that are similar to what our brains do.

After all, mushrooms connect many different plants through forests by their long and sometimes called “roots” that help plants to communicate.

4 How Changes In The Brain’s Structure Affect Our Intelligence

It’s true that by having bigger brains, one can keep more neurons in them. Yet, it doesn’t mean that the whole brain will be full of them. Sometimes brains may be big but quite empty. Great examples of such cases are sharks and whales.

It’s more important what is inside of the brain, rather than its size. One study found that men who have smaller brains tend to be smarter than those who have big ones. A surprise? Maybe, but it only proves that neurons number is more important than a sheer size of the brain.

Another case is when people are born or for any other reasons develop abnormal brains. Sometimes, it creates difficulties in doing simple tasks like walking and talking with people but increases learning abilities of difficult sciences like physic, chemistry, maths, and many others.

3 How Healthy Living Benefits The Brain

Healthy lifestyle practitioners recommend to exercise, eat Omega-3 rich products, do breathing exercises and many other things to make our minds sharper.

While it’s proven that it helps the mind to stay fresh, we can’t explain how a healthy lifestyle benefits the brain. Is it because all other organs start to work in balance, so brains have to do less work by controlling them? We still don’t know much about how the brain works, so it’s difficult to determine. Either way, at least we know what helps to keep brains healthy. Some of the most enjoyable ways to sharpen your mind are: eat peanut butter, laugh, do creative work, play video games and get enough sleep.

2 How Could It Develop

There are many highly organized biological structures in the world, but perhaps the most mysterious and advanced one is the brain. Some scientists don’t even believe that the brain is an evolutionary work - rather the creation of advanced alien species.

In the brain, there are millions of cells that are interconnected with each other. By interconnecting, they are capable of sending signals throughout the body, receiving signals from sensitive organs, building further connections to store new memories, destroying useless memories and even remembering faked memories.

1 How Does The Placebo Effect Work?

If you didn’t know, the placebo effect is an effect that makes a person believe in a particular subject and benefit from it. A great example is when a doctor gives a sick person a glass of water and says that the remedies (water) will definitely heal his disease.

If a person drinking water starts to believe that regular water is a remedy, it somehow increases their chances of defeating health problems and vice versa. If a person doesn’t believe that he will be healthy, he may suffer a disease for many years.

While it’s proven that the placebo effect is caused by the belief that good will happen, we don’t know what is responsible for making it happen in our bodies.

Sources: WebMD, Aeon, Scientific American, Sleep Foundation


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