After 35 years of age, the human brain shrinks in volume, starting at 0.2% a year and accelerating to over 0.5% a year by age 60. By age 90, the brain has lost on average 14% of its volume.
Smokers whose insula got damaged after a stroke were able to quit smoking easily one day after the stroke, with no relapse and urges, suggesting that this brain region might play a role in nicotine addiction.
Spending just a few months in Antartica can shrink your brain due to environmental monotony and prolonged isolation.
A brain syndrome called mirrored touch synaesthesia causes people to physically feel what other people are feeling just by looking at them. For example, a person can look at a dog and fee fur texture on his palms, this is an involuntary response. Brain automatically fills in what it thinks the dog feels like without needing to touch it. Sometimes people also have mirror-taste, so they can look at something and “taste” it in their mouth.
A married father in France went to the hospital complaining of a 2 week history of mild leg weakness, only to find out he lived his whole life with 90% of his brain missing.
Researchers discovered that applying a sonogram to a person’s skull and stimulating specific brain regions can alter their mood. One researcher described applying it to his own head and later feeling like he had a martini. They hope to develop a sonogram-based device to treat mood disorders.
Psychologist George Stratton wore glasses that turned the world upside down for 8 days. By the third day his brain had adjusted the image to feel right side up and normal. Once he took the glasses off his normal vision looked inverted for hours.
The brain shields us from existential fear by categorising death as an unfortunate event that only befalls other people.
Scientists scanned the brains of lifelong bullies and found that they are physically small.
A brain injury sustained during a mugging turned a man who used to think “math is stupid” into a mathematical savant with a form of synaesthesia that lets him see the world in fractals.