The brain is truly a marvelous mechanism. Researchers are making more discoveries about the inner workings of this marvel of evolution everyday. Many people may be surprised by some of their findings. So, we thought the reader would be interested in knowing about some of them, so we listed some of the more unusual facts about the brain below.
- Ever wonder why you can’t tickle yourself?
Well, it is all part of the brain’s ability to focus on outside stimuli, while minimizing sensations produced by its own body. That is why a person can be extremely ticklish when touched in a particular area and to be taught there would cause him to erupt in uncontrollable laughter, yet touching the same are with his own hands will produce no such reaction. We now know this because researchers have pinpointed the area of the brain that prevents this type of self-stimulation.
- How the the brain interprets humor
Humor is another stimulus that evokes laughter in humans Yet, what constitutes humor is rather difficult to define but we know it when we see it. Moreover, what is considered funny by one may not seem funny at all to another. You’ve seen it happen: a nightclub comedian tells a joke and the joke falls flat; except to one old gentleman in the back who is bent over with laughter. And, it was not that the joke was illogical (most jokes are) it’s just that the joke failed to stimulate the area of the brain that controls humor in most of the people in the audience.
For their part, researchers have narrowed the area of the brain that controls humor down to somewhere in the frontal lobe. They arrived at this conclusion by studying people whose brains had been damaged. People with damage to the frontal lobe showed an inability to comprehend a joke, or, get the punch line, if you will.
- The brain and jet lag
After reading this, transcontinental and transatlantic flight will never be the same for some people. Apparently, jet lag, caused by crossing multiple time zones too quickly, can cause brain damage. Researchers believe that the stress associated with long flights produce hormones that can damage the temporal lobe. To guard against this unwelcomed side effect, reduce the frequency with which you make lengthy airplane flights.
Have you ever had an annoying tune like “The Girl From Ipanema” stuck in your head? Well, so have millions of other people. Nevertheless, getting rid of the annoying tune can be extremely difficult. In fact, the more some people concentrate on getting rid of it, the more entrenched the devilish tune gets. Fortunately, researchers have pinned down the cause of this phenomenon and it is called a neuroparasite.
This neuroparasite is linked to our ability to remember things like sequences of events. Throughout the day, we are oftentimes called upon to remember sequences like directions, combinations, and things we consider mundane like signing our name. This ability to reconstruct sequences is the same ability that makes us susceptible to neuroparasites.
- What causes yawning?
Although yawning is associated with sleepiness, it is actually an action that is designed to roust you from your slumber. When you yawn, the larynx and pharynx expands, facilitating the induction of more air, delivering more of the revitalizing oxygen to your blood stream, causing you to become more awake.
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