The human brain is an absolute miracle in its construction, an organ that is unique in the material universe among things animate and inanimate. There is nothing else known to man that compares with the human brain for intricacy.
Three pounds of gray matter tucked inside the skull has justifiably been referred to as "the universe within", such is the staggering capacity and complexity of this wonderful organ, more powerful and intricate than the largest supercomputer on earth. It is aptly referred to as a very big place in a very small space.
The human brain is astounding in it's construction, capable of handling one million bits of information every second, poured in by the body senses. How does the brain handle this flood of information?
There are two main factors involved. One is the network of nerves within the brain stem, all housed in a space the size of your little finger. This network is kind of traffic control center, able to monitor millions of messages entering the brain, sifting out the trivial from the important, allowing only a few hundred of these messages to enter the conscious mind.
The second factor is the ability of the brain to scan itself 8-12 times per second by producing waves that sweep the brain helping it to act on the strongest signals. This amazing flurry of activity is going on in our heads every second!
In spite of the strides mankind has made in understanding the workings of our amazing brain, experts have admitted that like the material universe, the human brain remains "essentially mysterious".
The mystery of the brain begins in the womb as the brain is forming, sometimes at a rate of 250,000 cells per minute from the ripe old age of just three weeks from the time of conception.
After birth the brain continues growing and forming its network of connections. The gulf separating the human brain from that of any animal quickly reveals itself.
According to the book, The Universe Within, "The brain of the human infant, unlike that of any other animal, triples in size during its first year". In time, about 100 billion nerve cells, called neurons, as well as other types of cells, are crammed into a human brain, although it makes up only 2 percent of the body's weight.
The connections formed within the brain are astronomical with an estimated 100 billion neurons or nerve cells making billions of neuronal calculations simultaneously.
The capacity of the brain to collect and assimilate knowledge is yet another incredible aspect of its power as studies have confirmed our ability to cope with any amount of learning and memory.
The potential of the human brain is far beyond any load we could place upon it in a lifetime, and according to some longtime students of the subject, a billion times more than that.
The human brain is unique, separating mankind from the animal world due to the higher mental processes that create a massive gulf between human and animal brain use. As one researcher said " We are not just smarter apes but are qualitatively different from all other forms of life" due to the power and capacity of our amazing brain.