The human body is capable of some pretty amazing things but the human brain takes the cake when it comes to performance. From being able to trick you into being physically stronger, to being highly functional even when you sleep, your brain is incredible. These are things you didn’t know about the human brain.
The human brain is considered the fattest organ in the human body but it only accounts for about two percent of its total mass. Though it isn’t exactly the largest organ in the human body, it uses the most energy. The amount of energy and oxygen the brain requires is about twenty percent of the daily output made by the body. The crazy thing about the brain’s energy consumption is neuroscientist can’t account for ninety percent of what the energy is used for.
There are many things that are taken into account that help our brains shape our reality. From religious beliefs to past experiences, our brains are constantly trying to make sense of the world and help us feel like we have control over our reality. The brain is constantly taking objective situations that are actually happening, and turning them into subjective occurrences in order for us to understand what is happening. Like when you learn a new word and then it seems like you hear the word being used over and over again. This is your brains way of making sense of reality from something, in this case a word, that was probably there all along and you never noticed.
Hypnosis has a long history and was once used for surgeries before the invention of anesthesia. There are still many medical professionals that don’t believe in hypnosis but the way the brain reacts under it, can’t be denied. Hypnotized people are so hyper-focused on self-created imagery, or suggested imagery, that they don’t have any association of self in the imagery. They’ve lost the reminder of what they personally do and what normal judgment they make, while increasing their ability to think about a whole range of imaginary situations.
Have you ever heard the saying stupid people don’t know they’re stupid? There’s actually some science behind this statement. The dunning-kruger effect happens when someone who is incompetent, suggest that they aren’t. When research, these incompetent people will over estimate how well they perform on tasks, because they are overly confident. The brain actually tricks people into thinking they know everything when actually they don’t. This happens because the person lacks metacognition to realize their actual abilities outside of what they personally perceive. Good news, people can learn to recognize and improve their metacognition, but this will lead to them under estimating their abilities overtime.
It’s interesting how complex the human brain is in regards to perceived threats and the evolution of its need to be like. These two functions of the brain have caused many people to have phobias of speaking publicly, or perform any task that may make them look insufficient in front of others. The human brain has made embarrassment seem like an actual threat, even though there is no actual physical danger. The human body reacts to embarrassment the same way it would react to a deadly predator.
When we are sleeping, the brain is able to turn off our motor skills. This allows us to have vivid dreams without reacting to them in reality. sometimes the brain forgets to turn our motor skills back on while we are waking up, and what occurs can be terrifying. If you have ever laid in bed and been consciously awake, but you weren’t able to move, then you have experienced sleep paralysis. This is a result from the brain overlooking the need to send signals to regions of itself that control our muscles. Though it is scary at the time, sleep paralysis is normal, and pretty common.
Have you ever tried to recall a memory with friend, and their account of the memory is much different than yours? This can be from both your brains editing memories to make you appear better. You are of course the star of your own show, and because your mind is subjected to your reality, it often distorts memories from what actually happened. Though big details such as dates and people are usually the same, small details like what someone said or did, could be slightly different from what other people remember.
Building Muscle Through Thought
There are many instances were using visualization methods can help people achieve their goals. Research has shown that this works with physical goals as well. In a research study where participants thought about working out a certain part of their body over 12 weeks, the muscle in that part of the body was able to lift 35% more weight with no exercise. That means, their brains made them believe they were stronger from just thinking about exercise. Now we don’t advocate sticking to a strictly mental exercise program, but with these results, it proves the brain can do some pretty remarkable things.
This list may make the brain seemed like it is some out-of-control organ that has complete control over us. This actually isn’t the case, we all have the power to trick our brains into performing differently. From shrinking the feeling of pain, to helping your brain retain more information, there are many ways you can make your brain function the way you wanted to. Have you ever gotten an annoying song stuck in your head and it seems to last for hours? An easy brain hack to get rid of this is to think about the end of the song. The songs ending will help feed the need the brain has for not leaving things unfinished. also known as the zeigarnik effect.
There is a way to make your brain hallucinate without taking any illegal drugs. In the 1930’s, psychologist Wolfgang Metzger realize, if you cut off the use of certain senses, such as vision or hearing, the brain will start to hallucinate. To do this, you would need headphones that emit white noise, a ping-pong ball cut in half and taped over your eyes, and a red light. Put the headphones on and listen to the white noise and then turn on the red light, next cover your eyes and make sure there is no light shining through on the side of the ping-pong balls. Now sit back and relax while your brain works its magic.