There’s a famous quote about understanding the brain from the mathematician and science writer Ian Stewart. He said:
“If our brains were simple enough for us to understand them, we'd be so simple that we couldn't.”
That’s a bit of a mindfuck (no pun intended), but it’s an interesting point. The brain may be the only thing in the universe that, by definition, we’re incapable of fully understanding because the thing trying to understand it is the same as the thing that’s trying to be understood.
It’s kind of like seeing the back of your own eyeball.
That said, the human brain is one of the most complex entities in the known universe. Despite how dumb most of the people around you may seem, the human brain’s computational power and ability to adapt and understand the environment around it is staggering.
Here are some of the more fascinating facts about the brain I’ve come across over the years, and what they mean for you.
1. We forget our childhoods because we actually replace our brain cells
Neurons develop at the rate of about 250,000 per minute during early pregnancy. Formation of new neurons may actually be the reason we …