Believe it or not, the human brain might be the most complex. As small as it is (its weight does not exceed 1,4 kg to a man) it contains over 100 billion neurons, more than the number of stars in the Milky Way.
Between the 100 billion neurons in the human brain, there are 60 trillion neuronal synapses (the number varies from person to person and is believed to be the difference between a genius, an ordinary person, or a person with average intelligence).
So it is not surprising that no matter how advanced science may seem, the brain still hides a lot of mysteries researchers can not explain.
LiveScience has listed 10 questions beyond our comprehension of the brain, the part of our body that defines who we are.
ConscienceWhat makes us aware of everything around us? From the time we wake up in the morning until we fall asleep at night, every noise, sound, voice, and all images are projected into our "consciousness" and change into understandings, notions, memories, and so on? Neuroscience is still poor in answering these questions. How these processes develop in our brains remains a mystery.
DreamsDreams are a real mystery of the brain. Where do they come from and what can influence them are questions that scientists are trying to answer. For now, it is said that there are electrical impulses in the cerebral cortex, but this explanation means almost nothing.
Dreams are probably due to synapses in brain cells or may arise from life activities and emotions felt during the day that turn into projections and memories at night, probably... It is certain that dreams take place during the REM stage of sleep. And what is even more certain - dreams are mysteries unsolved by modern science.
"Ghost" SensationsThere is a syndrome known as "phantom limb", which is experienced by about 80 percent of people with an amputated limb. The patients experience sensations - pain, itching, etc. - in a limb that does not exist. It has been reported to occur in 80-100% of amputees. This syndrome is often resistant to treatment. An explanation would be that the severed nerves send signals to the spinal cord, which carries them to the brain, but this theory has been scientifically refuted. Another explanation is that this brain continues to "think" as if the limb is still there.
MemoriesHow do memories form? What are they? Where are they kept? From beautiful experiences to negative ones, the brain memorizes everything, even things we're not aware of. Scientists have been trying to figure out the mechanism behind memory for years. The hippocampus, an area of the brain, is said to be "responsible" for the custody of memory.
And if the memories are hard to explain, the premonitions cannot be explained at all. How do we sometimes know what will happen to us or others around us?
SleepSleep is essential for survival, as is food and breathing. Prolonged insomnia can lead to depression, sadness, and other health disorders, and eventually to death in extreme cases. However, scientists have not yet understood why we need to sleep.
Scientists divide sleep states into two stages: REM, a condition characterized by rapid eye movements, in which the brain is very active, and non-REM stage. Each of these stages has its own role. First comes non-REM sleep, followed by a shorter period of REM sleep, and then the cycle starts over again. The first stage gives the body a break, while the second organizes the memories.
DeathYou can't live forever (even if many of us prefer to forget this). And the brain, after all, is a kind of vehicle, once its time is up, he stops. Unfortunately, age degenerates it and so far there are no remedies to fix the mechanisms that keep us alive. But what exactly makes us grow older? Aging is an essential question for science, which is looking for solutions to increase its lifespan (although the planet barely accommodates us, but that's another problem).
Nature Versus Education?We are born like a white page, with no notions and no ideas in the brain, though supposedly with a character and a personality. In the years to come, education greatly influences who we are or will be. That's why scientists are trying to understand whether "the way we are" is due to genes or to the environment in which we grow up and are educated.
LaughterLaughter is good! A somewhat trivial statement, it is already known that laughter activates all facial muscles bringing benefits to the whole body. Then it is said that animals do not laugh, at least not in this form. It's something that differentiates us from other beings. What is the mechanism that triggers laughter? Scientists still do not know.
Like any luxury car, even the brain has a "CPU" that sends signals to our biological clock or suprachiasmatic nucleus. That CPU is the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus "tells" us if we are hungry or not, when we are sleepy or not. The hypothalamus is also involved in digestion, body temperature, and blood pressure. According to recent studies, researchers have found that light regulates a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin supplements can help prevent time zone changes.
But the mechanisms of all these signals have remained a mystery... So, the universe our brain represents still has many "galaxies" and warm holes to explore...