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While researchers are still uncovering the secrets of how the brain works, they have discovered plenty of information about what goes on inside your head. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of brain myths out there.
The following are just a few of the many
myths about the brain :
Myth 1 – We only use 10% of our brains. PET and MRI scans show that much more than 10% of the brain is used during even simple tasks.
Myth 2 – The brain declines as we get older. Though some cognitive functions do decline as we get older, plenty of our mental skills actually improve with age. Vocabulary, linguistic comprehension, conflict resolution and emotional regulation are just a few areas in which older brains can perform better than their younger counterparts.
Myth 3 – Brian damage is always permanent. The myth that we are born with a finite number of brain cells has perpetuated the idea that brain damage is permanent. But, we now know that the brain can develop new connections to substitute for ones which are broken and “reroute” functions through healthy areas.
Myth 4 – The brain is hard-wired. One of the most enduring myths about the brain is that specific areas were responsible for specific functions. In fact, the brain is remarkably flexible. A good example of this is that the brain of a blind person can “rewire” part of their brain responsible for sight to improve their hearing.
Myth 5 – Left-brained people are organised, right brained people are creative. Though there are parts of the brain that are generally reserved for specific functions, both sides of the brain are used together. The claims that we rely on one side of our brain, or that a left/right orientation signifies creativity or organisation, have been disproved.
Myth 6 – Your memory is an exact account of what you see and experience. Though some people have better memory that others, nobody’s memory is perfect. In fact, when we remember a memory we’re often recalling the last time that we remembered it (rather than the original memory), meaning that the memory is altered slightly with every successive time that it is recalled.
Myth 7 – Listening to classical music will make a baby smarter. Though it’s tempting to believe in a “Mozart Effect”, there is no evidence to support the idea that playing classical music to a bay can make them smarter.
Myth 8 -Brain games improve your memory and reasoning skills. The BBC commissioned a study to investigate this theory by asking over 8600 people ahead 18-60 to play online brain games designed to improve memory and reasoning for ten minutes a day, three times a week. The study showed that after six weeks the test subjects didn’t do any better on memory/reasoning tests than comparable subjects.
Myth 9 – Your IQ stays the same throughout your life. IQ is by no means a perfect test of intelligence, but it has been long thought that our IQs stay the same throughout our lives. This idea has since been debunked by testing students as they grow older, with 9% of students tested showing changes of 15 points or more after four years.
Myth 10 – Your brain works better under pressure. Though the pressure of a decline can motivate is to work harder, it doesn’t result in better brain performance, and is actually much more likely to impair function.