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13 Weird Things You Didn't Know About Your Brain

They have thoughts and feelings too.

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1. They're pretty demanding.

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The brain consumes 20% of our total energy expenditure. This means that a person with a basal metabolic rate of 1,300 calories has 260 of those consumed just by the brain. This is a huge amount considering that the brain only accounts for 2% of our body weight.

2. They are crappy multitaskers.

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Our brains can't focus on two things at once, so when we multitask, we're asking our brains to jump back and forth between two stimuli. Studies have found that the older we get, the harder our brain has to work to multitask.

3. They tend to skew negative.

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We have 50,000–70,000 thoughts per day. Out of all those thoughts, 60% of them are negative. Further studies on this "negativity bias" have also found that once the brain has viewed something negatively, it's incredibly difficult for us to (literally) change our mind.

4. Our brains have a filter for useless information.

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The area of the brain known as the thalamus is in charge of relaying information gathered by our senses to the cerebral cortex. An area of the thalamus, the reticular nucleus, is in charge of preventing irrelevant information (i.e. the sound of someone next to you squeaking their chair, distant conversations, traffic noise etc.) from distracting you.

7. Our brains use dreams to solve problems.

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There's a reason that famous songs, scientific breakthroughs, and story ideas are credited with coming to their creators in a dream. Our brains use dreams to rearrange our thoughts and solve our problems.

8. They are more creative in the shower.

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Shower thoughts exist due to a phenomenon known as incubation. The shower is the perfect mixture of mindless tasks, relaxation and lack of stimulus that allows our subconscious problems to leap to the front of our consciousness with a solution.

9. They can be tricked into experiencing déjà vu.

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While scientists are still scratching their heads as to why our brains experience déjà vu, they're now able to recreate it artificially via virtual reality. What they've learned? We experience it most when it concerns places.

10. Men's brains are babe torpedoes.

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The sexual pursuit area in the male brain is 2.5 times larger than in a female's. So that glazed-over, trancelike stare that men do when they see an attractive lady? Completely natural and, unfortunately, unstoppable.

11. Our brains are incredibly resilient...when we're young.

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If a child suffers a traumatic brain injury, other parts of the brain will take over for the affected area. But due to a process known as synaptic pruning — where brains transition from childhood's constant influx of information to adulthood's maturing and focus — an adult brain can no longer compensate for other areas.

12. The average brain weighs three pounds.

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The heaviest brain recorded belonged to Russian author Ivan Turginev and weighed 2,021 grams (4.5 pounds). Albert Einstein's brain was smaller than the average brain and only weighed 1,230 grams (2.7 pounds).

13. They can hold a lot of information.

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The average brain can hold close to 2.5 petabytes (one million gigabytes). This article equates that to 3 million hours of movies or TV shows — close to 300 years of viewing material.

14. A lot of what we know about the brain we've discovered in the past 10 years.

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Due to advances in technology, diagnostics, and molecular techniques, scientists' understanding of the brain has grown significantly over the past decade.

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