thinking

If there's one thing that makes humans different from other animals, it's the way we think. Thanks to our brain's advanced outer layer, or cortex--especially the front--humans can think beyond what's happening right now. We can remember the past, plan for the future, and even think about thinking. We can also use language to share these thoughts with other people.

Definition: your brain's ability to reason, plan, remember, make choices, and communicate
Related Brain Parts: cortex, prefrontal cortex
Cool Fact: Too little sleep can interfere with your short-term and long-term memory.
Cool Fact: The more actively you use your brain, the more likely it is to stay sharp as long as you live. Try different types of activities like doing puzzles, playing an instrument, and learning a new language.

Image credits: main image, © istockphoto.com.