5 Amazing Facts You Didn’t Know About the Brain
It’ the most vital part of our bodies and also the most mysterious. Here’s 5 amazing facts you probably didn’t know about the brain that just might change the way you think.
5. Your brain is more creative when you’re tired
As backwards as it sounds, there’s a reason so many good ideas happen when lying in bed after a long day’s work. When you’re tired your brain has a more difficult time filtering out distractions and is less efficient at remembering the connection between ideas. This fuzziness is exactly what’s good for coming up with creative new ideas. A wider less cluttered scope gives makes your brain more open to fostering innovation.
4. Stress can shrink the brain
Stress can take its toll on your body but did you know it can physically shrink the brain? In one study researchers subjected lab rats to chronic stress and found that over time the rats’ hippocampuses in their brains actually shrank. While more research is need to determine if chronic stress can physically alter the human brain, the cellular changes in rats’ hippocampuses offer an interesting insight into the issues associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
3. You can make your brain think time is slowing down by doing slow things
You may think that time is flying by, but that probably just means you need to do more new things. Our brains take information from different senses and reorganize it in a way for us to understand. When it’s something new it forces your brain to focus more, the longer the process takes the longer a period of time feels.
For instance, if you’re in a life-threatening situation time appears to slow down, because your brain is extremely focused. Now of course this doesn’t mean you should put yourself in danger to slow down time, you can do the same thing by challenging yourself to learn new things or try new experiences.
2. Your brain is attracted to people who make mistakes
Your boss might act like he’s displeased by your screw-ups but it’s actually the opposite… sorta. There’s something called the Pratfall Effect that actually makes people who aren’t perfect more appealing. Psychologist Elliot Aronson conducted a test where he asked participants to listen to recordings of people answering a quiz. Certain recordings included the quiz taker knocking over a cup of coffee and when asked which quiz takers seemed more likable, participants chose the klutz. Hence the reason people who are perceived as perfect are also usually perceived as less likable, we’re not perfect and like people we can relate to.
1. Multitasking is impossible for your brain
The values of multitasking are drilled into us from an early age. Jumping back and forth from one task to another though actually increases the chance of error by as much as 50%. The book “Brain Rules” says that when our brain tries to do two things at once, it divides and conquers, dedicating one-half of our gray matter to each task.
“A study in Paris found that when a second task was required, the brains of the study volunteers split up, with each hemisphere working alone on a task. The brain was overloaded by the second task and couldn’t perform at its full capacity, because it needed to split its resources.”
Not surprisingly when the volunteers were given a third task their performance suffered even more. The ability to juggle multiple tasks at once is a useful skill, just don’t be surprised if you run into more mistakes along the way.