The human brain is a wonderful organ that continues to both astound and perplex neuroscientists across the globe. Plenty of research has gone into how the brain works, its specific functions, its storage capacity, memories and so on, but it’s just as interesting to think about what our brains are actually there to do.
Our brains tell us that something is right when it’s actually wrong. That’s because the actions we take are influenced by the memories and the experiences we recollect. What’s equally interesting is the fact that, according to the latest research studies, we can’t juggle more than one task at a time, despite the immense popularity of multitasking.
There are all kinds of fascinating things going on in the brain that it’s hard not to be shocked or surprised by the constant revelations modern neuroscience manages to uncover. Here are a few of the most fascinating brain-based facts that will undoubtedly have your head in a spin!
Stress Alters Brain Size
Stress is a major cause of changes in brain function, while research has also indicated that brain size may even be affected by changes in stress levels. Baby monkeys were used to test how stress affected their development and mental health, with half of the monkeys being cared for by humans and the other half cared for by their mothers.
Typical social groups were formed from the two halves afterwards for a few months before their brains were scanned. Stress areas of the brain were still enlarged in monkeys that were removed from their mothers.
The hippocampus is integral to forming memories in the brain and a test involving rats indicated that chronic stress was linked to shrinking of the hippocampus. It is widely debated whether Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is linked to the hippocampus.
Creative Work Improves While Tired
Could it really be possible for our brains to perform better when we are tired? This very much comes down to the science of body clocks and how they affect our daily routines. However, it’s not strictly true and here’s why:
If you are up early in the morning and head off to bed at a reasonable time in the evening, you will most likely find that you operate at your most effective in the morning when carrying out demanding or analytic work. Using your brain to solve problems and answer questions is almost always preferably done when you are at your peak.
Where it does start making sense is when you indulge in creative work. When you are tired your brain is not as good at filtering out distractions and you’ll have trouble focusing on a specific task. This is actually a positive for creative work, as you need to be able to think in new ways and open new avenues for thought.
Naps Improve Memory
Sleep is very important for all kinds of reasons, including muscle regeneration during exercise regimes and of course, for brain power. Short bursts of sleep, also known as naps, are also incredibly useful, mainly because they improve your memory throughout the day.
Taking a nap clears information out of the temporary storage areas of your brain and prepares it for new information to be collected. If you were to take part in a challenging 6-hour task and rest for a nap around halfway through, you would continue to perform at a consistent level in the final hour of the task and even improve upon your performance.
This article was provided by www.thinkchangeconsulting.com, a company specialising in the application of neuroscience to a business environment to maximise a workforce’s positivity, motivation and efficiency.