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How Does Your Brain Work?

Uncover How To Give Yourself A Brain & Memory Power Boost

Newsweek AMPLIFY-  How Does The Brain Work

"Come on, think think think...brain blast!"

If you remember watching Jimmy Neutron's Adventures as a kid, then you may have been one of those kids who marveled at his big brain and the many clever inventions he was able to come up with.

You must surely remember the montage where the camera enters Jimmy's ear and goes into his brain to observe its inner workings before he reaches his Eureka moment. In reality, though, do brains really work that way?

What does IQ really mean and does the size of your brain affect intelligence? Discover the answers to understanding how your brain works and how to properly nourish it here.

The 3 Main Parts of The Brain

The Cerebrum

The largest part of the brain is the cerebrum. The cerebrum controls your voluntary muscles and is responsible for thinking. You can thank your cerebrum for your ability to hit a baseball, dribble a basketball, and dance.

Your cerebrum enables you to solve complex equations, figure out the different endings to your favorite video game, and play Pictionary with your friends. Your memory - booths short-term and long-term live in your cerebrum. It also helps you with processing logic and formulating judgments like whether it's a good idea to start that new series even though you have an important project due on Friday.

The cerebrum is comprised of two halves on either side of your head. Scientists believe that the right half is in charge of the more abstract concepts like music, colors, and shapes while the left half is more analytical. The left side helps you with math, speech, and logic. However, both halves still inextricably serve each other as the right half of the cerebrum controls the left side of your body, and the left half controls your right side.

The Cerebellum

The cerebellum is located at the back of your brain, below the cerebrum. Though it may be tiny when compared to the cerebrum's size, it is still an incredibly vital part. The cerebellum controls your balance, coordination, and movement.

Have you ever tried to walk on ice without ice skates? Imagine slipping and sliding all over the rink even when you have good skates on because your body's still adjusting to the slippery surface. Thanks to your cerebellum, you can stand upright, sustain your balance, and move around!

The Brain Stem

The final main part of your brain joins the cerebellum in the small but mighty team. Your brain stem is beneath your cerebrum and in front of your cerebellum.

The brain stem connects the rest of the brain to your spinal cord, which goes down your neck and back. The brain stem takes charge of your involuntary muscles that keep you alive. They're concerned about the activities you don't usually think about doing like breathing air, digesting food, and circulating blood.

From telling your heart to pump more blood when you're running a marathon or your stomach to start digesting your dinner, the brain stem keeps your body's homeostasis (a relatively stable state of equilibrium).

Think of it as your brain's secretary. It's responsible for sorting through the millions of messages that your brain and the rest of the body send back and forth.

Newsweek AMPLIFY-  How Does The Brain Work

Do Bigger Brains Make You Smarter?

Overall brain size doesn't immediately match up with one's level of intelligence. For example, the brain of a sperm whale is more than five times larger than the human brain but humans are recognized to have higher intelligence than sperm whales.

Among humans, ­men generally have bigger brains than women. The average human brain weighs in at 2.7 pounds, or 1,200 grams, which is about 2 percent of our body weight. Males typically have about a 100 g advantage after considering the disparities in total body weight of both sexes. Does this mean that men are inherently smarter than women?

In 2005, psychologist Michael McDaniel used brain-imaging and standard intelligence tests to come to the conclusion that bigger brains correlated with smarter people. However, this does not mean that women are now inferior to men in terms of intelligence or anything else for that matter. It just means that they have a slight advantage in terms of the groundwork/foundation laid out for them to develop their brain.

Albert Einstein was a man who had a perfectly normal-sized brain but is someone who our present society considers a genius. He is a Nobel Prize winner because he was dedicated to his craft and sought answers to questions that were previously dismissed as too frivolous to be of any importance.

When it comes to intelligence, what you do with what you have matters more than the size of what you were given.

What Does IQ Mean?

IQ stands for intelligence quotient. It is a numerical estimate of a person's reasoning ability. It supposedly gauges how well a person can use information and logic to answer questions or make good predictions based on what information they do have.

IQ tests assess a person's intelligence quotient by measuring their short- and long-term memory. The test involves solving puzzles and recalling information they've heard — and how quickly they can do this

IQ tests measure competencies in people that are important in playing important roles in society however, this does not readily measure one's success. These tests don't tell the full story of a person's potential. The primary reason for this is that IQ tests favor people who can think on the spot. A skill some of even the most successful and capable individuals lack.

In the end, hard work is just as important to success as IQ. It is not enough to have a high IQ, you have to be able to constantly exercise and challenge your brain to keep it sharp and focused.

Newsweek AMPLIFY-  How Does The Brain Work

How Can I Take Care Of My Brain?

Increasing your creativity, efficiency, and response time is possible with only small tweaks to your current lifestyle. Just remember to keep in mind these in mind:

Eat healthy food

When you are able to eat meals that satisfy your daily nutritional requirements, you will take in enough vitamins and minerals that will support and sustain your nervous system.

The brain also needs particular nutrients to stay strong. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, assist in building and repairing brain cells, and antioxidants greatly lessen cellular stress and swelling, which are connected to brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders, like Alzheimer's disease.

Get a lot of exercise

Exercise comes with a lot of mental stimulation. This is especially apparent when you try a new workout or dance for the first time. Your brain will be using much effort in studying the motions and in commanding your muscles.

Aerobic exercise, like dancing and running, seems to be the best for brain health because it raises your heart rate as your body pumps more blood to the brain. Strength training like weight lifting can also be beneficial as it increases your heart rate.

Don't drink alcohol, take drugs, or use tobacco

Even if you don't drink a lot, alcohol has a cumulative effect on your brain. One binge drinking session that ends in a blackout can induce life long memory loss. Over time, smaller and smaller amounts of alcohol will lead to blackouts and soon you'll have hours' worth of lost time with no idea what you did then.

Smoking principally influences memory by diminishing the amount of oxygen reaching your brain while repeated drug use can cause neuron death and rushes of dopamine that reinforce drug dependence.

Challenge your brain by learning a new skill, reading, playing music, making art, or anything else that forces you to do some hard thinking

You need to alter your mental stimulation exercises each day, or else your brain will get used to it and become lazy. Actively seek to sharpen your cognitive skills, and possibly learn something different and enhance your other talents along the way, too.

No matter what age you are, you need to incorporate mentally stimulating exercises every day to improve your concentration, focus, memory, and mental agility.

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