The Weight of the Human Brain and Other Interesting Facts

The human brain is a marvelous thing that we really understand very little about. Our brains are the computers that run our bodies. They store everything we need to know, everything we want to know, and they maintain body functions and normality.

There are a lot of things that scientists have already discovered about the brain. Let’s see how many things we can discover about it today.

How Much Does The Human Brain Weigh?

Doctor Holding Human Brain Model

The average adult human brain weighs close to 3 pounds or between 1,300 and 1,400 g. Your brain is about 2% of your body weight.

Until you are 18 years of age your brain is still growing in size. 

The human cerebellum weighs about 150 grams.

At Birth

When a baby is born the brain weighs roughly 400 grams. That is slightly heavier than a liter of milk.

When a child is two their brains are about 80% of the size of an adult brain.

By the time had become a teenager their brain has grown very close to its full weight. At eighteen the brain does stop getting heavier.

Does Brain Size Matter?

The actual measurement of your brain matters very little when it comes to intelligence. As you age, and your brain matures in size, you are capable of fully utilizing more areas of the brain for reasoning and emotional stability. 

Men’s brains are normally about 10% larger than the brains of women.

Big people who are very tall do not have larger brains than smaller people who are very short. Scientists actually say that obesity may cause the brain of the individual to shrink in size. The shrinkage may cause early-onset dementia and other complications.

Over the years the human brain has gotten smaller. The brains of Neanderthals were about 10% larger than the Homo sapiens brains. 

Albert Einstein was one of the smartest people to ever lived. His brain only weighed 2.71 pounds, which is about 10% less than the average brain weight.

Brain Development

Cute little child boy playing magnets toy for brain development

The brain develops from the back to the front. The prefrontal cortex is the last area to fully develop and mature. It is said that a brain will reach mature weight at about the age of 18 but brains may continue to grow in length and mass until the person is about 25 years of age.

The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that controls reasoning and the ability to make good decisions. This may be why teens and very young adults tend to make poor decisions about life matters and financial matters. Their prefrontal cortex has not fully developed to allow them to have sound judgment.

Men and Women Do Think Differently

In men and women, there are certain areas of the brain that are not the same size. The portions of the brain that are associated with the ability to solve problems or regulate emotional stability are larger in female brains than they are in male brains.

Men have larger areas associated with processing memory and emotional responses than women do. Men also have larger parietal cortex portions of the brain so they are more adept at perceiving the amount of space in an area.

Men listen with the left side of their brains and women use both sides of their brains to listen.

The hippocampus, the part of the brain that is linked to memory is larger in female brains than in male brains.

Did you Know?

  • The sperm whale is the animal with the biggest brain. Their brains weigh about seventeen pounds when they are full size. Their brains are about as big as the backpacks elementary students carry.
  • The human brain can read and recognize up to 1000 words per minute
  • The human head, including the brain, weighs about ten pounds.
  • 20% of the oxygen and calories you intake are used by your brain.
  • 73% of your brain is water
  • 60% of the dry weight of the brain is made up of fat
  • Ninety minutes of sweating will temporarily shrink the brain as much as one year of aging does
  • 25% of the cholesterol in your body is in your brain
  • If the brain is starved of oxygen for as much as five minutes the brain cells begin to die.
  • We are often told that we only use 10% of our brains. This is not true. During brain scans it is obvious that the majority of the brain is actively being used at any given moment.


Is brain tissue soft or firm to the touch?

Brain tissue has a consistency that is close to that of butter.

Can the brain feel pain?

The brain cannot feel any pain.

When is the brain the most active?

The human brain is more active at night than during the day.

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