Myths About The Brain You Thought Were True
The human mind is an amazingly complex machine. It allows us to see and understand the world around us, evolving over the course of millions of years to become one of the most powerful and efficient devices known to man.
- And with around 100 billion neurons, it is amazingly difficult to figure out how all of it fits together.
- This is understandable, as people frequently try and simplify complex things (like the brain) in order to make them more understandable.
- This may sometimes result in things being a bit over simplified and facts getting a little misconstrued.
Every brain is either dominated by the left or right side :-
- Touch your nose with your right hand. Now touch your nose with your left hand. Could you not do one?
- I bet you could do both. A number of popular internet tests claim that they can determine if the left or right side of your brain is dominant.
- But beware – these tests often have no scientific basis whatsoever.
- Although some studies say that certain parts of the brain dominate certain activities, an overall general assumption about hemisphere dominance is extremely difficult to make and should not be trusted.
Myth – We only use 10% of our brains :-
- We actually use all of our brains, despite the common misunderstanding which has arisen from popular media content such as the movie “Lucy” or sci-fi literature. MRIs are largely responsible for this misunderstanding, as imaging shows that at any one time our brains are only ten percent active.
- The truth is, our brains only make up 2% of our bodies but use 20% of our energy.
- If the whole brain was active at any one time, the energy consumption would be enormous and place massive strains on our bodies.
- Our brains are very efficient machines, and save energy by only using what they need.
- For example, when you are reading a book, different parts of your brain are activated compared to when you are eating. Our brains just use the energy they are provided efficiently, conserving energy for the next task.
There are typical male and female brains :-
- We often hear that men are better are maths and women have stronger social skills, because of the way that our brains are hardwired.
- These are simply gender stereotypes, and a number of studies show that when you take away cultural priming – ie. telling your daughter that boys are better at maths – no gender difference is be observed in standardized testing.
- The key take home message here? Tell your daughters that they can be a world class engineer – that their algebra is just as good as their brothers. This myth only exists if we believe in it.
The brain cannot change with training :-
This is not true, and let me give you an example of just how plastic our brains are. ]
- Some children are born with severe epilepsy; a condition which makes it virtually impossible for them to live a normal life.
- A common procedure, in this case, is to remove one side of the brain, and remarkably most functions can be compensated with this one remaining hemisphere.
- Yes, half the brain is taken away and these children are still normal. It is true!
Furthermore, the Hippocampi – the brain structure responsible for spatial orientation – is much larger in taxi drivers than the average person, especially in very experienced taxi drivers who have been on the road for many years.
Your brain can change, depending on how you use it, and although these changes are easier to make when we are young, an increasing amount of research is being published indicating that neuroplasticity at any age does indeed exist.
- Your brain is a very important structure that uses 20% of your energy and it has the potential to be great.
- Start your personalized training today to see just what difference it makes.
- Your brain will thank you.