Discovering Neuropsychology

Interesting Facts about the Brain

Did You Know?

Ageing eyes have trouble distinguishing among shades of blue.

Nursing home residents who are given some control over their surroundings live longer.

Age-related damage to the inner ear can result in dizziness and falls in the elderly.

The hippocampus loses about 5 percent of its neurons in normal ageing.

Past head injuries can accelerate the onset of dementia.

Optimistic older people live longer than pessimists.

Alcohol affects older brains more strongly because of lower metabolic rates.

Patients with dementia are often more confused at sundown.

Disordered REM (dreaming) sleep can be an early symptom of dementia.

Strategy-based games help older brains stay sharp.

Some areas of mental ability actually increase with age.

You can maintain a healthy brain through mental and physical exercise.

A fifth of your blood is devoted to supplying your brain.

Neurons can live more than a hundred years.

Nerve impulses travel at between 9 and 400 feet per second.

The neurons you have at birth are all you will ever have.

The human brain has about 50 trillion neuroglia, support cells for neurons.

The brain burns 20 percent of the body's oxygen and glucose.

Memories are more likely to stick if they combine information and emotion.

Treatments to lift depression usually improve memory.

Reading and writing use different neural networks.

The brain is wired to see patterns in all objects.

The brain recognises some smells, such as rotting wood, at birth.

An infant will not swallow contaminated food; by two years a child will, an interesting environmental adaptation.

Reflex responses, like a knee jerk, come from the spinal cord, not the brain.

Alpha brain waves dominate when people feel calm and in control.

Seeing someone in distress makes 'mirror neurons' in your brain cause similar feelings.

Pain is not an emotion, although it can bring on emotional reactions.

People with depression suffer the most in the early morning.

Working memory resides in the prefrontal lobes.

The part of your brain that recognises an object is different from the part that locates it.


Did You Know?

Sixty percent of a dolphin's brain is devoted to the cerebral cortex. The cortex is home to the higher functions – reason, creative thinking, and language. In the human brain, 76 percent of all neural connections are within the cortex.

Gorillas use sign language to make a sentence three to six words long.

Interaction with pets increases levels of joy-inducing hormones in the human brain.

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