Ten Misconception and Truth about the Brain that You Should Know

child Head with symbolThe human brain is complex and amazing. Many researchers are still discovering the mystery of how the brain works and there is still a lot of information to uncover. However, there are still also some misconceptions about how the brain works. Here are the following misconceptions about brain that you must know:

Myth: Only the 10% of human brain is at work.

Truth: Based on experiments on PET and MRI scan proves that the brain is working and active at any given activity. Although the brain does not function simultaneously, it was shown that the all of the area of the brain still function normally. It is just a matter of how often we exercise our brain. We might lose some brain tissue but still our brain can function pretty well.

Myth: Brain injury is forever.

Truth: The truth is that brain injury that cause lasting damage depends on which part of the brain and the types of injury. Like for example a concussion is a very serious problem but it takes time for the person to recover and a stroke can leave a serious concern to the brain and can actually become permanent. However, there are some cases in where the stroke can be recovered through therapy in which will help the brain to create new connection to the brain cells and improve the motor capabilities.

Myth: Classical music can stimulate your brain and makes you smarter.

Truth: Classical music does not have impact on your intellectual by all means. There was a study in 1993 where a group of researchers proved than students who listened to classical music scored above average in their IQ test but apparently this so-called Mozart effect is only temporary because they were asked to take another test after 15 minute and the result were different. Note: playing musical instruments however, can enhance your cognitive skills in the long run.

Myth: Alcohol will always kill the brain cells.

Truth: Alcoholic beverages do not kill the brain cells but it is a substance that alters the brain function because of its addictive abilities. But when the alcohol substance is abuse in the long term, it can and may damage the brain cells. Nevertheless, consuming moderate amount of red wine is great for the brain.

Myth: Drugs make holes in the brain.

Truth: Drugs are another addictive substance that alters the brain function but it does not create hole in your brain. Only physical trauma can put holes in the brain. I am not encouraging anyone to take drugs by all means. Bear in mind that drugs can still interfere with your brain’s system by blocking the activity of your brain cells.

Myth: Solving puzzle games can increase your overall brain’s performance.

Truth: Playing mind games such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku and the like can only improve and exercise your learning skills but not your overall brain ability. Just maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise can greatly affects your memory and cognitive in positive ways.

Myth: Human has the largest brain among any other creature on earth,

Truth: The human brain only weighs about three pounds and is around 15 centimeters in length. If we compare the human brain and all the creatures on earth, sperm whale has the largest brain. It weighs at 18 pounds while elephant 11 pounds. Still thinks human has the largest brain? Think again.

Myth: Human brain consists of 100 billion neurons.

Truth: Whoever created this myth did not do his calculation well! Scientists have gone through extensive research regarding the neurons in the brain and they discovered that the human brain contains around 85 billion neurons. So, if you heard your kids says that we have 100 billion neurons according to his science teacher in class, you should give the correct your kids.

Myth: Our brain cells are permanent and it dies as we age.

Truth: Have anyone ever told you that your brain cells forms new ones? Yes, it is! It is true that cells dies as we age but it also forms new cells during the course of your life. This process is called neurogenesis and it occurs in one region of your brain called the hippocampus.

Myth: A massive bump in the head can cause amnesia.

Truth: While popular TV and soap operas told you that a massive impact on the brain can lead to amnesia are true, it is actually false and absurd. There are two types of amnesia: the lack of ability to form new memories (anterograde) and the lack of ability to recall past memories (retrograde). Retrograde amnesia is usually cause by Alzheimer’s disease or traumatic brain injury.

I believe that we heard more about the rumors and myth about the brain which sounds legit to us but actually are very wrong and misleading. I hope through this article, you can learn a bit of how the brain works and what are the things that were exaggerated by people regarding the brain.

Ten Remarkable Things You Didn’t Know about Your Brain

Film Review The Theory of EverythingYou might think you know everything about your brain? Using your brain everyday does not mean you are well aware of how it works and everything in it. You will be surprised at how mysterious and fascinating our brain is. Through years of research, scientists have proven that the brain is capable of immense change. There are still too many facts we didn’t know about brain and is still yet to be discovered. However, scientists have spent a big sum of money towards researching of the brain and this is what they have found:

  • The average adult brain weighs below 3 pounds! And it is very similar to tofu. For about 85% of the brain’s weight is the Cerebrum, it is responsible for motor control of the body. Scientists also found out that the average weight of male’s brain is about 1,336 grams while female is about 1,198 grams. The weight of the brain decreases as we age.
  • Comparing to other creatures on earth, human have the largest brain when it comes to size ratio. Some argue that elephants have the largest brain, well it is quite true however if the ratio of the entire body and the size of the brain are matched, the elephant is only 0.15% while human is 2%.
  • Well, don’t get too excited about your brain. As we age, our brain will become smaller. As a matter of fact, early human 5000 years ago had larger brains comparing to humans in the 21st century. The human brain had shrunk for about 9 cubic inches which is 150 centimeters or total of 10% from the early humans, a research conducted in the University of Wisconsin at Madison by a paleoanthropologist, John Hawks. Furthermore, there are no solid proofs as to why our brain shrinking by time but scientists concluded that it could be due to the evolution of mankind and also because of our diet. The good news is that the brain size is never associated with an individual’s intellect level; in fact Albert Einstein has smaller brain than the average adults.
  • Did you know that your brain uses 25% of sugars circulating in your blood blow and uses 20% of oxygen in your blood? Well, that’s quite a huge number for something that weighs less than 3 pounds! This research was based on the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and they believe that our brain is an energy eater. As a matter of fact, the amount of energy is enough to light a bulb. Our brain can produce maximum of 30 to 35 watts when we are awake. And this will leave you stunned: your brain is the fattest organ in your body! It is about 60% of fats and that explains why it uses 25% of sugars in the body.
  • The brain cells are only comprises of 10% of neurons and the other 90% are called “glia” which means “glue” in Greek. Scientists found out that glia is not just a sticky thing that keeps the neurons intact but it is more than that. Glia or also called by the scientists as the silent cells in the brain is responsible for sweeping off the excess neurotransmitters in order to give immune protection so that it can promote and control the growth between neurons and brain function. With that being said, I believe it is not that silent after all!
  • Yawning is one way for the over exhausted brain to cool down. Yawning happens when the brain do not receives sufficient oxygen due to overworked, thus the yawn is said to be the residual amount of oxygen to the brain. The brain needs enough supply of oxygen in order to work properly, if there is no oxygen the brain cells will start to die every 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Wonder why teenage are often rebellious, emotional and dramatic? It is because teen brains are not yet fully developed. Amazing, isn’t it? The gray matter of the brain mounts up before they reached puberty and there is still development happening in the frontal lobes which is their judgment and decision-making. In fact, the part of brain which responsible for multitasking is not yet fully developed in teen until they are 17 years old. Added to that, teens are less likely to use their medial prefrontal cortex which is related to empathy and guilt until they reached 20 years old.
  • Many people stated that the brain stops changing and lost the ability to create new neural connection when it reaches adulthood is totally wrong. According to several researches by scientists, even adults could form new neurons and in fact intense mental exercise like meditation can change the brain’s structure and functions.
  • Have you ever felt fatigue from traveling to countries with different time zones? Well my friend that is called jetlag and it affects the part of your brain that is in control for learning and memory. Experiencing a severe jetlag increases the production of stress hormones, decreases the size of the temporal lobe and affects your learning and memory part of the brain. Disturbing your sleep cycle in the long run and greatly cause brain damage and affects the brain. Note: body temperature that goes beyond 10.6 degrees Fahrenheit can also damage the brain. In history, there was one exceptional man who reached 115. Degrees Fahrenheit survived without any brain injury or harm left scientists puzzled with the findings.
  • If you think that women are from Venus and men are from Mars, then think again! Scientists have issued in the January 2010 Psychological Bulletin gathered and tested men and women from 60 countries. The results: there is no difference between men and women when it comes to their math ability. Nonetheless, what make these two worlds different is only the hormones that affects the brain and behavior.

Isn’t the human brain so cool? Who would have thought this small, 3 pounds, complex part of our body is control everything about us. It will take us a lifetime to get to know our brains better.

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