YOU WEIGH THREE POUNDS
This time of year, many of us are looking at the scale and wishing we hadn’t consumed an entire chess pie over the holidays, but did you know that you really weigh about three pounds? It’s true! I’ll explain.
What makes you unique? Is it your interests or memories? Is it your intelligence, or your way of moving? “You” are a combination of all of these qualities and more, and they’re all contained in one place: your brain.
You know that people can survive without some of their organs: the appendix, a kidney, part of a lung here and there… but you absolutely, 100% cannot survive without a brain. You also know you can survive with donor organs: heart and liver transplants are common these days, but receiving a brain transplant? Think about it (with your brain.)
So what makes up a brain? The cerebrum is the biggest and most important part: you’ve heard the terms “right brain” and “left brain”—that refers to the cerebrum’s two hemispheres. It’s the hub of your movement, memory, problem-solving, thinking, and feeling: all of your voluntary brain functions.
The cerebellum sits behind the cerebrum and controls your coordination and balance: how well you move and dance (or trip and fall down a flight of stairs.)
The brain stem sits at the base of your brain and connects your brain to your spinal cord. The brain stem controls your automatic functions, like breathing, digestion, and your heart beat. (Aren’t you glad you don’t have to think about making those things happen?)
We know a lot, but there are still many gaps in our understanding of this incredible three-pound organ that controls everything we do. Come learn more about the brain at Kentucky Science Center’s Brain Days Science Celebration, March 23-25, with the Kentucky Academy of Science and the Society of Neuroscience.