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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

11. Your brain keeps your head from spinning.

Why don't you get dizzy as your eyes dart around all day? Because your brain knows how to filter out motion without you even being aware.¹⁶

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.

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