Babies Lose Half their Neurons at Birth
It is estimated that a baby loses about half their neurons before they are born. This process is sometimes referred to as pruning and may eliminate neurons that do not receive sufficient input from other neurons.
Miles and Miles of Neurons
There are one hundred billion neurons in the brain. A stack of one hundred billion pieces of paper would be about 5000 miles high, the distance from San Francisco to London.
Early Brain Growth
During the first month of life, the number of connections or synapses, dramatically increases from 50 trillion to 1 quadrillion. If an infant's body grew at a comparable rate, his weight would increase from 8.5 pounds at birth to 170 pounds at one month old.
No Pain in Brain
There is no sense of pain within the brain itself. This fact allows neurosurgeons to probe areas of the brain while the patient is awake. Feedback from the patient during these probes is useful for identifying important regions, such as those for speech, that are spared if possible.
The Brain and Stress
Research on cortisol, a hormone that is easily measured because it is present in saliva, helps to explain why stressful and/or abusive environments have an adverse effect on brain development. Adverse or traumatic events elevate the level of cortisol in the brain. Excessively and chronically high levels of cortisol alter the brain by making it vulnerable to processes that destroy brain cells responsible for thought and memory.
The Brain is the boss
Your Brain is Amazing