Friday, January 15, 2010

The Brain

If you could open the skull and look inside of it, what is the first thing that you would see? The brain and the brain's size. Did you know that in dinosaurs the brain represents 1/100,000th of the body's weight, whales 1/10,000th , elephants 1/600th. Then you have us, the human race our brain is 1/45th. The brain in a mouse is 1/40th of it's body's weight. Thus, being that there are exceptions to the rule that the ratio of brain to body weight provides a clue to a certain species intellect.

Why is the brain important? Because the brain is the body's boss! It tells the rest of the body what to do, all of the time, even if you are not aware of it. It controls your talking and thinking, the way you move your body, how you feel, how you learn and how you remember. But it also controls the beating of your heart and if you feel sleepy or awake.

So, if the brain is the boss, then who is the brain's helper? Why that would be the nervous system of course! The brain is like the computer that controls all the functions of your body and the nervous system is like a huge network that relays messages back and forth from it to different parts of the body. How does it do this, this type of messageing system? It does it via the spinal cord, you know the one thing in your body that if it breaks or snaps you can be paralized? That's right...the spinal cord. The spinal cord runs from the brain all the way down the back, it has threadlike nerves that run and branch out to every part of the body and to every organ.

How does this all work? When a message comes into the brain from the body, the brain tells the body what to do or how to react. For instance, if you eat a lemon, the nerves in your tongue send a message to your brain that it taste sour and your brain sends a message back saying oohhh, bitter, and for you to pull it away from your mouth. This is the case unless you LIKE lemons!

How much does the brain weigh? About 3 pounds. How long is the spinal cord? It's about 18 inches long and is about 3/4 inches thick! And what protects the brain and spinal cord? Bone, if not we would have a lot of injuries. Could you imagine not having our brain or spinal cord protected by bone?

So, I guess the saying is true, if you don't use your brain you will loose it! True? I think it is, if you aren't active and get up and go and just sit and do nothing, and by nothing I mean nothing, then you'll loose your brain. And note the picture at the top....can your brain ever actually take a vacation? NO!

And yes dear friends....I started my Psychology class today!

1 comment:

Holly said...

You should read "Who switched off my brain..." by Caroline Leach. She's been studying brain "stuff" for a long time and makes corrolations about taking every thought captive,etc... very interesting!