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1. Whenever a drop in temperature on the palate occurs, the brain jumps into action to prevent freezing to death. In other words, the brain will increase blood pressure in an effort to tell the person to slow down a notch. This condition is called an ice cream headache. And it’s something we should all watch out for during summer days.
2. This might sound like a cliché, but stress can literally change the shape of your heart. Takotsubo syndrome is a condition that causes the left ventricle to change shape and fail to pump blood properly. During short-term stress, 2 molecules known to be released during stress and depression can affect the activity of heart muscle cells, leading to a temporary failure. Luckily, managing stress and practicing breathing and meditation techniques cure this condition without the need for medication.
3. The human microbiome, also known as the gut environment, is an ecosystem made of various bacteria that have co-evolved with humans to benefit both the host and the bacteria. This bacterium is known to influence human psychology since it contains a profound number of chemicals that are used by our neurons to communicate and regulate mood, like dopamine and serotonin. Speaking of which, 95% of the body’s supply of serotonin is produced in the gut.
4. The white matter is the tissue that connects neurons together, making communication possible between the various gray matter regions and between the gray matter and the rest of the body. As we age, our white matter degrades, resulting in symptoms like memory loss and difficulty solving problems.
But research has shown that dancing increases white matter in the brain, which increases cognitive function and keeps the brain in shape. And of course, it’s hard to be unhappy when you’re dancing. So it’s a win-win situation.
5. As we grow older, our bodies shrink, but our noses and ears keep getting bigger. This happens because our skin starts to lose its elasticity and can’t retain the support that it once could. The nose and ears are no exceptions. These pronominal organs change in size as we age, but not because we’re growing — it’s because of gravity.
6. We all have that friend who tells the same story each time with different details. The reason why they do that is that their memory is playing tricks on them. We often think of our brain as a machine that stores and arranges our memories for us, like a camera or a tape recorder.
While in reality, many studies have concluded that memories, even our most cherished ones, are malleable and are fallible. False memories can affect anyone, regardless of whether the memory is trivial or life-changing.
7. The brain now is smaller than it used to be 3,000 years ago. Before assuming that this is bad news, remember that there is a correlation between the body and brain size. So, as the body grew smaller, so did the brain.
Yuval Noah Harari explained this phenomenon in a great way: “You give some, you take some.” Because of our developed cognitive and planning abilities, human beings no longer need larger bodies.
8. Exposing the skin to black light, also known as Wood’s light, can be used to detect bacterial and fungal skin infections as well as irregularities in skin pigmentation. Under a Wood’s lamp, healthy skin glows brightly without shining. It may display white spots when the skin is thick, yellow spots where the skin is greasy, and purple patches where the skin is dry.
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