5 cool (and a couple creepy!) facts about your brain

I just ran across this piece and thought it was pretty interesting:


The short version is:

1. The brain is softer than you probably think. You may have seen those funky Jell-O brain molds they use around Halloween, but some scientists say it's more like warm butter or the inside of an avocado! (Hopefully not a rotten avocado.) Which makes sense why concussions and TBIs are so common in sports, accidents and war zones and why NFL players (and I assume NHL and other sports - eventually) are ended up with chronic brain diseases from multiple hits.

2. Your eyeballs are actually part of your brain. Yep, they're connected by optic nerve fibers. What I didn't realize was that sight is the only sense that is connected directly to the brain.

3. Your stomach is your "second brain" because it's the only organ that has such an extensive network of neurons that it can function on its own. That helps explain things like butterflies and knots in your stomach; your stomach can actually evaluate information like stress caused by your surroundings.

4. Your actual brain has no feeling. It can tell you when other parts of your body hurt (including your head, which has nerve tissue and blood vessels) but the brain itself doesn't have a nerve system. Who needs novocaine for brain surgery?!

5. Your brain can change, grow, improve, reroute message pathways and fix itself at any age. It's called neuroplasticity and it's why scientists now understand that IQ can change with brain training (vs. being stuck with the IQ you're born with).