The All-Powerful Human Brain

The average human brain weighs around 3 pounds and even during sleep, it never stops working.  It uses about 20% of the body’s energy. A bright night light uses about 6 watts. Even when you’re thinking as hard as you canyour brain is running with only 12 watts of energy. Isn’t that amazing?

Cell phones, tablets, and laptops get more efficient every year, but they have a long way to go to rival the computing power and efficiency of the human brain.

Think about the wonderful things that humans have produced. For instance, Michelangelo’s beautiful painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Or Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper.

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo. Credit S-F/ShutterStoc


The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci Photo credit Renata Sedmakova/Shutterstoc

Both were imagined and brought to life by the human mind.

Kim Peak was one of the most amazing examples of human brain power to have ever lived. He was the inspiration for Dustin’s Hoffman’s character in the movie ‘Rain Man’.  Though he couldn’t do simple things like button his own shirt, his feats of mental power are legendary.

Kim Peak

Kim lacked any formal schooling but by the age of 18 he was working at a company with 160 employees. He would come in for a couple hours a week and do their weekly payroll. He did all the calculations in his head and he was never wrong.

Reading a book two pages at a time, one with his left eye and one with his right eye, he could memorize even the largest book in a couple of hours.  Kim remembered almost everything he ever read word-for-word for the rest of his life.

Kim was very fond of maps. The memorize thousands of them and could calculate the shortest driving route between any two cities in the world.

Kim could recite any Shakespearean play word for word and while attending plays he would stand up in the audience and correct the actors if they made a mistake.

Yes, he could count cards just like the character in ‘Rain Man’ but he would never enter a casino because he thought it was unethical.

These are just a few of the amazing things that he could do with the power of his brain.  What made Kim Peak different than the rest of us? For one thing he was born with an unusually large head. Which meant that he had a much larger cerebral cortex than normal.

The cerebral cortex is the thin layer of the brain that covers the outer portion of the cerebrum. With an average surface area of about 2.5 square feet it needs to fold and bulge in order to fit it in the skull.  

Anatomy of the Human brain.  By BlueRingMedia/ShutterStock.

Most larger animals have folds in the cerebral cortex. There is evidence that the amount of surface area of the cerebral cortex is an indicator of intelligence.

The smaller the animal the smoother the brain. The cerebrum is where are emotions and feelings are created. Vision, hearing, touch, and smell all have their own regions in cerebrum. While you read this article your cerebrum is where your thinking, learning, and remembering takes place.  When you move in your chair to get more comfortable it is your cerebrum that controls the movement.

Kim Peak’s brain had several other abnormalities which I will explore in my next article as we further discover the power of the human brain.

ByTim Shively, June 23, 2019


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