The function and capabilities of the human brain have been a great mystery to science since the beginning of humanity.
In recent decades, thanks to advances in neuroscience, many things have been elucidated, others, however, remain an enigma.
Many researchers will agree that the more we learn about the human brain, the more questions arise.
This may be in part because our brain is much more complex than we’ve ever imagined.
Here, in this article, we take a look at 6 facts about the human brain that continue to baffle neuroscientists:
Pain: specialists have not yet managed to establish what the main mechanism by which some people manage to block the impulses of pain is, nor what are the different thresholds with which each body perceives it.
Dreams and Sleep: although it is known that dreams play a key role in learning processes and in neuronal plasticity, many aspects of their functioning remain a mystery. Furthermore, researchers have not been able to solve the mystery behind sleep, and why we spend a third of our time asleep. It is inordinately challenging to remain awake for more than a full day-night cycle, the more a person remains awake, the more issues arise. According to experts, in humans, continuous wakefulness of the nervous system can result in mental derangement. Experts have demonstrated that rats deprived of sleep for 10 days die.
In fact, all mammals sleep, reptiles and birds sleep, and voluntary breathers like dolphins sleep with one brain hemisphere dormant at a time. While we see a clear evolutionary trend here, the function of sleep remains a profound enigma.
Memory: it is still unknown how the hippocampus works when storing and discarding memories. Researchers recently found that the hippocampus works as a sensory enhancer.
Decisions: although it is known that in decision making two different systems intervene, that of cognitive control and that of the evaluation network; science fails to establish for the moment what functions prevail in these mechanisms.
Intelligence: the evaluation of intelligence remains a weak point for neuroscientists. Researchers have not been able to answer what ‘intelligence’ means biologically.
Although there are several evaluation tests, specialists believe that they are only capable of measuring partial aspects of it.
Neuronal coding: despite the numerous researches developed in this field, it has not yet been possible to establish how the process by which electrical stimuli are converted into coded information work.
Emotions are a mystery: Recent studies propose that emotions are brain states that rapidly assign values to outcomes and provide plans of action. Emotion, according to some researchers, can be seen as a type of computation, a rapid, automatic summary that initiates appropriate actions.
Sources and further reading material:
7 Cool Brain Facts That Neuroscientists Know About Consciousness, Your Behavior, Your Body Image And More