The Big, Bad Brain Quiz

By: Alia Hoyt  | 

For what looks like a big old lump of putty, the human brain is a truly incredible organ. Think of it as the body's Mission Control Center, as it manages just about every aspect of general functioning that you can imagine. How much of a brainiac are you when it comes to general trivia and prevailing myths?
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Question 1 of 10

How much of the brain does the average human use?
10 percent
20 percent
100 percent
The long-held myth that people only use 10 percent of the brain couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, we use just about all parts of the brain, and most areas are active all of the time.

Question 2 of 10

True or False: Brain size is related to intelligence.
True - the bigger the better!
False - there's no relationship whatsoever.
In terms of the brain, size doesn't matter. The average human brain weighs roughly 3 pounds or 1.3 kilograms, whereas a sperm whale brain runs about 17 pounds (7.7 kilograms). So, it appears that the size of the physical body has more to do with determining brain size than intellectual capability.
That hasn't been definitively determined.


Question 3 of 10

What causes people to develop Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which results in loss of brain neurons?
lack of thiamine (B1)
Lack of thiamine causes Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome and alcoholics are often lacking in thiamine, a very important B vitamin. So although alcohol abuse doesn't directly cause Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, it can play a role.
lack of protein

Question 4 of 10

Which side of the brain helps you to be more creative?
Both sides are useful.
Although the right hemisphere has long been touted as the creative epicenter of the brain, recent evidence indicates that is all hogwash. In fact, math, reading, creativity and many other once-pigeonholed pursuits actually use both sides.


Question 5 of 10

What's the main function of the hypothalamus, a small part of the brain near the pituitary gland?
blood pressure
The hypothalamus wears a lot of hats, but its primary function is to keep the body in a happily stable state, known as homeostasis. So if you get hungry it pings you to eat; if you're thirsty it tells you to drink, etc. It also regulates energy and so on.

Question 6 of 10

Alzheimer's disease patients typically have damage to which part of the brain?
The hippocampus, which resides in the temporal lobe, plays a tremendous role in storing long-term memories. Since Alzheimer's causes shrinking of that area of the brain, memories are therefore affected.


Question 7 of 10

Which part of the brain can you blame when you get all emotional?
occipital lobe
The amygdala is the emotional epicenter of the brain, while the occipital lobe manages visual processing and the parietal lobe is key for navigation and spatial orientation.
parietal lobe

Question 8 of 10

Which section of the brain is nicknamed "little brain"?
For such a petite nickname, the cerebellum has a big job, as it's responsible for making muscle groups work together to achieve coordination and balance.


Question 9 of 10

What does the presence of wrinkles on the brain mean?
You're getting old.
You're smart.
You're big.
Body size affects how convoluted/wrinkled the brain is. Small animals tend to have smoother brains, whereas humans and large mammals have brains that are more wrinkly.

Question 10 of 10

Most of the brain's weight is devoted to which part of the brain?
Eighty-five percent of a human brain's weight is in the cerebrum, which is in charge of functions like speech, memory, the senses, emotions and communication. It is split into four sections called lobes (frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital.)


You scored:
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