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11 Things You Didn't Know About Your Own Mind

The brain is a magical thing. Check out these facts and hacks!

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1. There's a reason why you can't remember people's names.

It's because there's a theoretical limit to the amount of names and faces you can recall. It's called Dunbar's number,¹ and it's generally around 150. If you're having trouble, repeating aloud the name of someone you just met can help boost your recall.²

3. You think too much.

You have an estimated 25,000–50,000 thoughts per day.⁴ With that much flying through your head, you can imagine how easy it is to become distracted. Experts have found that people who practice mindfulness may experience better short-term memory.⁵

4. You may not be as smart as your ancestors.

The average IQ has actually gone down⁶ by about 1.16 points per decade since 1889. But you could always learn a new instrument: Research suggests that after taking up music lessons, participants showed a greater increase in IQ than those who didn't.⁷

5. Multitasking does more harm⁸ than good.

Switching back and forth between different things can decrease your attention span and short-term memory. Try completing the most important task first thing in the morning and blocking out distractions for 60–90 minutes.⁹

6. You're basically carrying around a huge hard drive in your head.

But with more than a trillion connections between over a billion neurons, it's estimated that our brains have the storage capacity of about 2.5 petabytes.¹ᴼ And yet you're still terrible with names.

10. You're practically a mind reader.

You can tell how a person is feeling by reading their facial expressions, and it's all thanks to the amygdala.¹⁴ The next time you interact with someone, try to subtly study their facial expressions and body language to uncover social cues.¹⁵

Your brain can do a lot of cool tricks. With a brain nutrient like Cognizin® Citicoline, you can boost your brain’s ability to help you do more and stay on top of your game.

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¹http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/social-media-affect-math-dunbar-number-friendships
²http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/a0018785
³http://virtuallabs.stanford.edu/tech/images/ReactionTime.SU-Tech.pdf
⁴https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200107/depression-doing-the-thinking
⁵http://pss.sagepub.com/content/24/5/776
⁶http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289613000470
⁷https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2948283/
⁸http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/11/multitasking-takes-toll-on-memory-study-finds/?_r=1
⁹https://hbr.org/2012/03/the-magic-of-doing-one-thing-a.html
¹ᴼhttp://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-the-memory-capacity/
¹¹http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/strange-but-true-when-half-brain-better-than-whole/
¹²http://www.brainline.org/content/2012/07/can-the-brain-itself-feel-pain.html
¹³http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-synesthesia/
¹⁴http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/364/1535/3453
¹⁵http://www.ldonline.org/article/10785/
¹⁶http://visionologyutah.com/why-dont-we-get-dizzy-when-moving-our-eyes/>

All images from Getty Images.