Space travel can be a wonderful process, and not only because of the space exploration part. If you ever wanted a bigger brain, than you can achieve it by simply going through space, according to recent research. Of course, having a bigger brain doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be smarter, but it’s still worth knowing.
‘Be careful what you wish for,’ says an old proverb, and it can also apply here. Going to Mars is the scenario that the entire humanity has dreamed about for centuries, but the aftermath can not be too enjoyable at all. Firstly, astronomers should assure themselves that space travel is an entirely safe process for humans, even in their spacesuits. However, new research shows that exploring our Universe can cause some unexpected changes to the human bring. More precisely, an increase of its size.
It’s gravity’s fault
Researchers led by Dr. Larry A. Kramer performed MRI scans for 11 astronauts’ brains before they went to the International Space Station. The same astronauts were scanned again after they came back from the space travel. While analyzing the two different situations, the scientists concluded that areas of the brains of the astronauts physically expanded during the space exploration. The culprit is none other than the lack of gravity the astronomers experienced after they left Earth.
Dr. Kramer said the following:
“When you’re in microgravity, fluid such as your venous blood no longer pools toward your lower extremities but redistributes headward,
That movement of fluid toward your head may be one of the mechanisms causing changes we are observing in the eye and intracranial compartment.”
Gravity can affect humans in all sorts of ways – if it’s too strong, we wouldn’t be able to get off from bed in the morning, and if it’s too low, we should pull out the wheels from our cars because they wouldn’t need them anymore.
The new paper with the study for the brains of the astronauts was published in Radiology.