In this section, we discuss a few questions we think most people will have about the brain and endeavor to separate myths from current facts about the brain. We say ‘current facts’ because we are aware that science is always trying to catch-up with reality and not the other way around. We would like to present to you, in the simplest terms, our own research of the available sources.
The growth of infants' brains is a miraculous journey. After birth, growing your brain mostly means growing new connections between neurons. The neurons, for the most part, are already there. However, it has been discovered that we also grow new neurons at an advanced age, through a process called neurogenesis.
The main activity in growing your brain is making the connections between neurons through the acts of thinking, doing and perceiving. Don't worry about running out of connections, because your brain has roughly 100 billion neurons to work with and each of those can link to 10.000 other neurons. To learn more about how neurons transfer information, please click on this link.
The largest identifiable parts of the brain are the left and right parts, also called the left and right hemispheres. These two sides are connected through a bridge of nerve fibers called the Corpus Callosum. The right side and left side of the brain are not each other’s mirror image, but house different functions of the brain. The Left is roughly the analytical part of the brain and the Right, the creative part of the brain. It has been found that the integration of these two parts leads to a 5-10 times more effective brain. Great names like Leonardo da Vinci and Einstein have been proof of this. To learn more about these two parts, or hemispheres, please click this link.
To see all the parts of the brain and their function, please click this link.
Did you know that your brain is changing its connective pattern every second of your life in response to everything you perceive, think or do? In fact, the human brain is able to continually adapt and rewire itself. Even in old age it can grow new neurons and connections. For decades, it was believed that the adult brain did not produce new neurons after birth. But that notion has been dispelled by research in the last ten years. It became clear by the mid-to late-1990's that the brain does, in fact, produce new neurons throughout its lifespan. This process is called neurogenesis. Although long accepted in newborns, the idea of adult neurogenesis has only recently been largely accepted by the scientific community. It is also true that the brain loses brain cells when progressing in age, but it has been proven through research performed by Professor Mark Rosenzweig that with stimulation, the amount of connections that are being made can greatly outnumber the neurons that are being dismissed. This research has therefore proven that the brain can become increasingly more intelligent with age, when stimulated!
Mental and physical stimulation greatly improve your brain function and actually protect your brain against decline. Mental stimulation has to do with tasks for the brain like pondering, calculating, constructing, creating, discussing, puzzling, etc. It is greatly beneficial to the brain to keep learning new things, come up with new ideas and in slowing down or preventing decline. All these actions are giving the brain stimulation to grow and therefore not decline. It is also true that the brain loses brain cells when progressing in age, but it has been proven through research performed by Professor Rosenzweig that with stimulation, the amount of connections that are being made can greatly outnumber the neurons that are being dismissed. This research has therefore proven that the brain can become increasingly more intelligent with age, when stimulated!
Most age-related losses in mental skills simply result from a lack of mental exercise and stimulation. In other words, use it or lose it.
Whenever the same neurons exchange information over a longer period of time, the connections literally become solid and permanent, a process known as "hardwiring." Hardwired neural connections are long term memories that can be enacted without a lot of conscious involvement. Take, for instance, the difference between driving a car for the first time and driving it after a few years, while doing your hair, calling a friend and making a friendly gesture to another driver. Without much conscious thought, you can do all of these things simultaneously; you are on automatic. During the learning period, the firing between neurons need to be consciously initiated every time, but while in "automatic" mode, the brain calls on the hardwired connections that are mostly performed unconsciously.
It is important to realize that what the eye sees is processed by the brain to formulate a picture we call reality. In other words, the brain interprets the information that comes from the eye.
The act of seeing is when the lens of the eye receives an image from its surroundings and projects that image onto a light-sensitive membrane in the back of the eye called the retina. The signals that are received by the retina are processed by the brain. The interpretation of the brain is based on how the brain is wired for that information. For instance, a trained birdwatcher will see an extraordinary bird a lot quicker and easier than a layman will. Now we know that it is not the eye of the birdwatcher that is trained, but the brain.
So, what people see is not simply a translation of what the eye ‘sees.’ Scientists interested in visual perception have long struggled to explain how the brain is processing what we actually see. Although this seems to be an ongoing struggle, the mere fact that we see according to how our brain is wired and that we have the capability to rewire and make new connections in our brain means that our visual exploration can be expanded at our desire.
The brain vibrates at different brain frequencies according to its main function at that moment; for example, while thinking the brain produces a higher frequency of brain waves than it does while sleeping. The so-called ‘alpha’ brain waves are most conducive to creative thinking. One can also induce certain brain frequencies by listening to certain music or listening to specifically developed brain frequency tapes. For more detailed information about the different brain frequencies, click on this link. For more detailed information about frequency training, please click on this link.
This statement seems to be the subject of many speculations. On the one hand it is hard to find any hard scientific evidence that supports this statement. On the other, it seems obvious that some people make greater use of their brains while making a decision or coming up with a brilliant idea than others do. No, we won’t mention Einstein again, but we are sure you can come up with your own examples. So, do we really use only a small portion of our brain? If the answer to this question is yes, then knowing how to access the "unused" part of our brain should unleash untapped mental powers and allow us perform at top efficiency. But wait: shouldn’t we have lost the other 90% of our brain capacity through evolution if we are consistently not using it? Maybe we are using it, but are unconscious about it. Whatever you think the answer is, it is real life experience that teaches you that your brain can always function on a greater level; maybe that is enough to work with for now.
The brain is unlimited when it comes to the potential of processing information. It can make an unlimited amount of connections and has no boundaries as to the amount of information it can process at any one time. We are mostly unaware of how intelligent we are. In fact, we are only consciously aware of 2000 bits of information every second, while our brain is actually processing 400 billion bits of information every second. The 2000 bits of information mostly concern the body – is it cold, warm, hungry etc., the environment – where am I, where am I going next, etc., and time – when is my next appointment, what time do I need to wake up, etc.
What separates our brains from other species’ brains is a certain region that developed during the most recent stage in our evolution, the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe of the human brain takes up almost 40% of the total brain area. In our next closest ancestors, the great apes and chimpanzees, it occupies about 17%; in dogs it is 7% and in cats, 3%. The frontal lobe is the executive, in charge of regulating behavior. It is the part of the brain that we use when we are planning, speculating, inventing and looking at possibilities. The words ‘focused intent’ best sum up the function of the frontal lobe. For more on the function of the frontal lobe click on this link.
What does consciousness have to do with the brain?
What is consciousness? Some people say it is being aware, others say it has to do with knowing what is right or wrong, still others say it is who we are. Science is feeling its way through the dark and the answers are varied and often incoherent. The only great and complete source of information we have found in terms of defining consciousness and its relation to the brain is in the ancient knowledge as it is taught at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment, an ancient school of wisdom. The short version of this definition is that consciousness is like a large river of information that our brains are the receivers of. Visualize your brain sitting in a large river of information, picking up bits and pieces according to your wishes, be they conscious or unconscious. Obviously this subject deserves a more in-depth study, which we will not go into on this site, but if you do wish to learn more, please visit www.ramtha.com
The brain is constructed out of billions of neurons that connect to each other depending on how we perceive a certain situation, perform a certain action or think about something that interests us. Then who is the one that really makes the decision of connecting these neurons to perform that action of perceiving? You might think, ‘that’s simple: I do.’ That answer, however, implies that you are in fact not your brain, but rather you are the one using it. Then the ‘you’ who is using it is an invisible force that cannot be identified as the brain, but as the director of the brain. Science has to date not been able to identify this ‘I’ in the brain that decides on a certain thought…. but scientists can certainly not deny its existence. So when it comes to answering this question, we trust you to use your own brain.
We all have thoughts; we have them all the time, but where do they come from and how do they get there? Is thought a random event or is thought an intentional design? Most people would say that their thoughts are not random, but that they create the thought intentionally: I like this, I don’t like that, I think I’ll go there, let’s have something to eat.
Answers to questions like 'what is thought?', 'who creates thought?' and 'what is the action that comes from thought?' is a mainly undiscovered territory in the scientific community unless you dive deep into quantum physics and it's implecations. We find the following clip from Master Teacher Ramtha a profound insight into these questions, worthy of contemplation:
A thought is a picture made in the brain by the action of neurons firing together. We perceive this picture as a thought. Most if not all of our thoughts are influenced by the feedback we get from the body in the form of emotions. In fact, you could say that the body is running the brain most of the time, especially when we are highly emotional beings. To learn how this works and why, learn more in the section 'the brain and emotions'.