Welcome to Brain Smarts!

This site is dedicated to helping us get to know and appreciate our amazing brain.  Just to get you started, here are some facts about your (yes YOUR) brain that may surprise you!

  • Your brain is the most complex machine in the universe – yet it weighs only 3 pounds (makes that light laptop you carry seem like a mainframe)
  • Science has been able to see the conscious brain working since 1995 or so with the development of the fMRI, or functional MRI.  This has allowed brain science to virtually explode with new information.
  • One of the most amazing discoveries has been that of mirror neurons.  These amazing brain cells will respond to outside stimuli, for example, watching someone reach for a potato chip, and react as if you were the one reaching for the food.  That shows that we are fundamentally social creatures, with an amazing capacity for empathy.
  • We used to think that the brain was unable to regenerate, but this has proven to be a myth.  The brain is amazingly plastic — meaning that new neural pathways can form if one pathway is blocked or unhealthy.  Neurogenesis, or the generation of new brain cells has been proven to occur.  However, that doesn’t give us license to engage in activities that will hurt our brain cells …..
  • You can only keep a maximum of 7 thoughts in your working memory at one time.  If they don’t make it to long-term memory, they will >poof< disappear.  Contrary to popular belief, the brain does not stash all the information it encounters.
  • One brain cell can connect with another 25,000 brain cells.  Imagine the number of connections, considering the brain has 100 billion brain cells.  What a superhighway!

That’s just a taste of some of the great information you’ll find here.  Ms. BrainSmarty is blogging for the love of the brain.  She hopes to help you get to know yours a little better.