7 Misconceptions about the Brain
The brain is commonly referred to as the “command center” of your body, as it serves numerous purposes that are essential to its function. But it can be very difficult to fully understand. Its complexity has helped to create several myths that are commonly believed to be fact.
Here are 7 commonly believed misconceptions about the brain.
- Have you ever heard of the common saying, “We only use 10 percent of our brain”? A survey recently performed by the Michael J. Fox Foundation revealed that 65 percent of respondents believed this to be true. Well, Medical Daily reports that that is 100 percent false – “We use all of our brains to complete daily tasks like walking to work and breathing. Motor function, speech and other utilities of the brain require every square inch of the cerebrum, cerebellum, frontal lobes, etc…”
- Do you think we use one side of our brain more than another? Well, contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence that some people are more likely to use one side than the other, according to a recent study. Though many self-help books would lead you to believe that you are either “left-brain” or “right-brain” dominant.
- We all know of the five senses – sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. But what we do not know is that those are only 5 of the traditional senses we recognize. The brain actually controls much more than that – “thermoception (hot/cold), equilibrioception (balance/body movement) and nociception (pain)” are just to name a few.
- Also contrary to popular belief, “alcohol kills brain cells” is a very common misconception. What alcohol does is disturb the job of neurotransmitters, which are responsible for the communication between the brain and the body. This effect is essentially irreversible and can lead to “Wet Brain”, or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a neurological condition. But Medical Daily assures us all that our brain cells have not been killed.
- The only way to put an actual hole in a human brain is by physical trauma, not by using drugs. While drugs can also effect the brain’s neurotransmitters, it does not create a physical hole in your brain. However, chronic drug use can result in “deterioration of mental functioning over time.”
- Just because you have a larger brain than someone else, does not necessarily mean you are smarter. Take insects for example – “Many insects with brains no larger than the head of a pin are actually as intelligent, and in some cases more so, than much larger animals.”
- Until very recently even scientists were fooled into thinking that humans have 100 billion brain cells. After a study was published in 2009, scientists (and the rest of us humans) have found that an estimated 86 billion neurons are in the human brain. “Think those 14 billion neurons make for a small difference? Fourteen million neurons are equal to the entire size of a baboon’s brain”, says Medical Daily.