Frequently Asked Questions: Brain Facts
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Often I get asked questions about the brain, such as how big is it or
how many neurons are there. So I decided to compile a list of Brain
Facts. Some of this information may be out of date as new research
becomes available, but I've always include a reference
from where I got the
information. If anyone has other Brain Facts which I could add, I
would be happy to do so, as long as you provide a reference. This list is
for information only, and I take no responsibility for its accuracy or
- The human brain weighs about 1.4 kg and contains about 100 billion neurons
- The broad folds of the highly convoluted surface of the grey matter is
known as the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is about 2mm thick and
has a surface area of about 2000 square cm. This is about the size of
3.5 sheets of (8.5 x 11 inch) paper. There are approximately 10,000
neurons under every square millimetre (Regan, 1989).
- There are at least six neuron layers of different sizes and shapes
(England and Wakely, 1991).
- Brain diseases and disorders affect an estimated 50 million Americans.
Schizophrenia affects an estimated 1 percent of all people between the
ages of 18 and 25
(see Banking on Brainpower, spring 1998).
- Ataxia means clumsiness, or loss of coordination. It is a sympton and
not a specific disease (The National Ataxia Foundatation).
- The Brain Myth! Ever hear that you only use 10% of your brain? This is
a myth - you use all of your brain! See some of the
reasons behind this myth.
- Check out these
Brain Facts and Figures.
- Brain Basics and Disorders from the National Institutes of Health.
- Brain Anatomy Tutorials.
- England, M. A. and Wakely, J. (1991), A Colour Atlas of
the Brain and Spinal Cord. An Introduction to Normal Neuroanatomy, Wolfe
Publishing Ltd., London.
- Fischbach, G. D. (1992), Mind and brain, Scientific American
- Regan, D. (1989), Human Brain Electrophysiology. Evoked
Potentials and Evoked Magnetic Fields in Science and Medicine, Elsevier, New
Copyright 1999-2015 by Monica K. Hurdal. All rights reserved.