The human brain is the most amazing organ ever! It does everything. From keeping our hearts beating and our lungs breathing, to processing what our eyes see and deciding on what to have for dinner, the brain is amazing! It has 100 billion neurons and it’s able to do amazing things that we’re still unable to comprehend and explain. Last week we saw how the brain of teenagers works and today it is time for some more brain action. Let’s take a look at 10 myths about the human brain that we’ve been constantly hearing online and in real life.
This one is probably the most common myth about the human brain. It’s the idea that we only use 10% of our brains and that if we used 100%, we would probably be able to things that we can’t even imagine right now. Numerous brain scans have shown that our brains are always active. Indeed, some parts are more active than others, but unless we have some serious brain damage, we’re using all of our brains!
It is believed that exposure to great art, such as Mozart, will develop a child’s cognitive skills and will make them smarter. It’s a myth, folks! The Mozart effect is a big, fat myth! Dr. Albert Tomatic, an ear and nose specialist, started it in the 50’s when he claimed that Mozart’s music will help people with auditory and speech disorders. In the 90’s, a study was performed with students and IQ tests which concluded that listening to Mozart before an IQ test increases the points one scores on the test. More recent studies have proven otherwise!
Drugs do affect our brains. They can cause things from minor memory loss in marijuana users, to brain shrinkage in cocaine and Ecstasy users. However, there will not be any holes in the brain of drug addicts or drug users. One thing’s for sure, long-term use of hard drugs will permanently change the structure of your brain. Just look at Ozzy!
We’re born with smooth brains and at about 40 weeks of age, our brains are as wrinkly as they are at the moment you’re reading this. You don’t get new wrinkles as you learn new things and your brain doesn’t get any smoother, if it remains healthy. Did you know that the ridges of the brain are called gyri and the crevices sulci?
The brain is a fragile organ that is susceptible to a bucket load of injuries. Brain damage is the death of brain cells and can occur from trauma or other illnesses. But not all brain damage is permanent. The brain can recover from mild injuries very well. Mild injuries, or concussions, are when the brain bounces inside the skill, which can lead to bleeding and tearing of the brain tissue.
The color of our brain is not grey! Just because the brain has grey matter in it, doesn’t mean that it is grey. While it does have some grey in it, it also has white matter, which makes it white in certain areas. It’s also black and red in some parts! The black comes from the substantia nigra and the red from all the blood vessels found in our brain.
One of the most popular myths about the human brain is the one that says that our brain would still work after being decapitated. So many stories come from the time when beheadings were popular. People would notice that the people whose heads had been severed from their bodies would still blink if told to blink or focus their eyes on something. This is impossible, as the brain, when no longer connected to the heart through blood vessels, dies in 2 seconds. Everything that happens to a head after being beheaded is solely the result of reflexes.
Wouldn’t that be nice? If we were to learn without actively doing so? Maybe a subliminal message can penetrate our subconscious enough to slightly affect our behavior, but in no way can we learn new things through subliminal messages. There was a famous study that urged moviegoers to consume more Coke and popcorn that concluded that subliminal messaging works, but the man behind the study admitted to lying about the results.
We’re not the only mammals who have a smart brain, capable of solving complicated problems, showing empathy or learning how to use tools. Both the brain of an adult human and a dolphin weighs about three pounds. A sperm whale, which is just as intelligent as a dolphin, has a brain that weighs 17 pounds. Bigger isn’t better, folks! Intelligence has to do with cerebral cortexes, which is responsible for things like memory and thinking. Humans have the largest cerebral cortex of all mammals. It’s not the size of the brain that matters, it’s the size of the cerebral cortex!
Casual consumption of alcohol has been proven not to kill brain cells. Even in alcoholics, the use of alcohol doesn’t really cause brain cell death. The cell itself isn’t damaged. The way it communicated with its fellow cells suffers and this type of damage can be reversed. But if you consume immense quantities of alcohol you will damage your brain, but most likely your liver will fail first.
Did you enjoy reading these myths about the human brain? Drop us a line in the comment section below and share your thoughts with us!