Described as a "Timothy Leary for the viral video age," Jason Silva is a self-proclaimed "wonder junkie" whose series of noncommercial videos exploring inspiration, science, technology, and imaginationóhave been seen more than 2 million times online. You've had your brain inside your head for your entire life, so you might think that by now, you have a pretty good idea of how it works and what it can and can't—do.
But first, since your brain didn't come with an owner's manual, here is some basic background about your mental equipment's specifications. The brain is your body's most complex organ—and it has to be, because it controls all of your actions and generates all of your thoughts and consciousness.
The cerebellum, in the back of your head under the cerebral cortex, which coordinates the brain’s instructions for skilled repetitive movements and for maintaining balance and posture. The brain's various parts are filled with close to 100 billion neurons, which are cells that have something that the other cells of the body don't.
Here's a glimpse of some of the really cool, surprising things about your brain, which will be covered in more detail in the companion articles to various episodes of Brain Games.
The crew of Brain Games took five days and nights setting up hundreds of cubes to make the show open. In the new season of Brain Games, you're going to learn about some of the amazing abilities built into your brain, and about some of its odd and amusing quirks as well. Different parts of your brain engage in various tasks, ranging from processing visual information to responding to danger. It's the part of the brain where your thoughts take place, where you understand speech and come up with things to say. It coordinates for a lot of critical basic functions, such as heart rate, breathing, eating and sleeping. It includes the amygdala, which is where the fight-or-flight response is triggered, and the hippocampus, which plays an important role in memory formation. It contains the thalamus, which is involved in sensory perception and regulating movement and the hypothalamus, which regulates the pituitary gland, which in turn controls the release of hormones throughout the body.
They include complex structures called dendrites and axons, which form a communications system that transmits electrical and chemical messages in and out of the cell.
In order to cope with all the tasks that your brain has to perform, it utilizes a lot of ingenious shortcuts.
In these companion articles, you'll get more of the scientific background about your brain, and also some tips on how to put your new knowledge to use to develop abilities and improve your everyday life.
Host Jason Silva gets inside your head and show you whatís going on in there, with an intricate series of interactive experiments designed to mess with your mind and reveal the inner-workings of your brain. Host and wonder junkie Jason Silva gets inside your head and show you what's going on in there, with an intricate series of interactive experiments designed to mess with your mind and reveal the inner-workings of your brain. As the new season of Brain Games will convince you, there's a lot that you don't know about the miraculous biological machine between your ears and how both its abilities and flaws influence your everyday life. That transmitting system allows neurons to communicate with a lot of other neurons at super-high speed.

Young brains do work better than older ones in some important ways—they're better at doing several tasks in close succession and retrieving items from memory, for example.
The parts of the brain that evaluate trustworthiness tend to make split-second decisions based heavily upon superficial visual information. Because of differences in the brains of men and women, men tend to be better at visualizing the positions of objects and locations in space, and drawing mental maps for themselves. Researchers have found that it's possible to alter subjects' memories and even implant false recollections of events that never occurred. Neuroscientists have discovered that itching is triggered by a specialized neuron that detects extremely faint stimuli. Scientists have discovered that humans, along with a few other species, have a trait called deictic gaze, which means that when you notice another person’s eyes looking at something, your brain automatically tells your eyes to do the same thing. But first, here are some basic introductory tips on how to keep your brain optimally healthy and ready for all the tricks that we're about to teach you. University of Wisconsin researchers have discovered that sleep turns on genes that trigger production of myelin, a material that's the equivalent of insulation around electrical wire, helping make sure that your neurons are able to transmit impulses among one another. Certain nutrients are important to healthy brain function, and you can get them with the right food choices. In this article, we'll give you a peek at some of the mind-boggling stuff that you'll be learning about your brain.
The connections between neurons are called synapses, and the typical neuron probably has tens of thousands of them. Older brains are not only surprisingly resilient, but can actually do some things better as the years wear on. It's a trait that probably was useful to our ancient ancestors, who had to decide instantly whether to trust a stranger or not. But instead, researchers have found that when your brain’s stress response kicks in, you tend to discount negative information and focus upon positive information with an upbeat spin. Women, whose brains tend to be better at using language, usually rely instead upon more detail such as landmarks when giving directions. Some research has found that whether you're an athlete or a fan, if you’re on the winning side, your brain releases a flood of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that leads to a powerful pleasure sensation. In one experiment, for example, a psychologist convinced some subjects that they'd met Warner Brothers character Bugs Bunny at Disneyland when they were young. But the system is so sensitive that it easily can be triggered simply by thinking about a bug crawling on your leg, even if there isn't a bug there. Some researchers suggest this may have helped ancient human hunters point out prey to other members of their group without calling attention to themselves. A study published in Science in 2013 also found that your brain uses sleep time to flush out toxic waste that cells produce during daily use. Studies show that blueberries, for example, contain nutrients that help protect the brain from oxidative stress, and may even help reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Research has shown, for example, that workouts cultivated the growth of new neurons in mice, and that formerly sedentary humans who did cardio work for six months showed improved performance in cognitive drills that require them to switch between different tasks without making mistakes.
All those connections enable your neurons to work with other nearby neurons, but also to form pathways with distant neurons to carry brain signals.
Researchers have found that experimental subjects who were shown black-and-white pictures of bananas, for example, activated parts of the brain that normally fire when your eyes perceive yellow.
Researchers have found, for example, that we tend to put more faith in individuals with comparatively broader chins, wider mouths with upward-pointing corners, bigger eyes and eyebrows that are higher on the face.
In the episode "Laws of Attraction," we'll explore the mystery of why we feel drawn to some people but not others. In the episode "What's Going On?" we’ll look at how we manage to figure out where we're going, and what is around us.
In the episode "Brain Reboot," we'll look at how you can manipulate your brain's own hidden processes to improve your abilities. In the episode "Let's Get Physical," we'll look at how the body can fool the brain, and vice-versa.
In the episode "Follow the Leader," we'll look at the neuroscience and psychology behind how we influence one another. Amazingly, your cells actually shrink a little in size, to make it easier to clean in the spaces between them. Deep-water fish such as salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain function.
A German study published in 2010 found that subjects who swam, rode bikes or even worked in the garden a few times a week were only half as likely to show cognitive impairment as they aged, compared to those who rarely worked up a sweat. Those complex interconnections help you to do the enormous array of complex activities that are part of your everyday existence.
A study published in 2012 also shows that as you age, your brain increases the number of connections related to emotions, so that older people are better at solving problems in personal relationships than younger ones. In the episode "Trust Me," we'll analyze the brain's system for judging others' truthfulness and the how reliable it actually is. The National Institutes of Health says that most adults need about 7-8 hours a day, though some can get by on as little as 5 hours, and others need as much as 10. It doesn't take a lot of exercise to benefit your brain—three 20-minute sessions a week should do it. In the episode "Battle of the Ages," we'll tell you more about the differences between younger and older brains. Avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fat, which contributes to healthy blood flow to your brain.

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