Research, Technology

What are the most popular myths about the brain and why?

Today, the truth is not easy to know.The digital age has given us access to any information, but this is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we can study and work without leaving home, communicate with different people and always stay in touch. On the other hand, social networks help spread fake news and pseudoscience. In addition, we try to surround ourselves with information that we like, and few people are used to checking facts. So, a huge number of people are sure that the brain works at only 10%, and legends are made up about its ability to deceive us. The most complex organ of the human body controls all the functions of the body by exchanging information between neurons - electrically excitable cells woven together by 100 trillion synapses (or connections). We can say that all our thoughts, feelings and actions are the result of hundreds and thousands of neurons communicating with each other. But how to understand what is a myth and what is not?

The brain is surrounded by many myths


  • 1 How does the brain work?
  • 2 The myth of Alzheimer's disease
  • 3 Myth about 10%
  • 4 The myth of four hours of sleep
  • 5 The myth of two hemispheres
  • 6 The Mozart Effect Myth

How does the brain work?

The brain can be called a system with a multilevelan organization that connects it to the rest of the body and controls everything from heart rate to mood, emotions and movements. Scientists and philosophers have been fascinated by the brain for centuries, finding it almost incomprehensible. But over the past 10 years, the situation has changed - today we know more about the brain than in all previous centuries.

The emergence ofsupercomputers capable of processing information almost as fast as the brain. Computer models, along with accelerating the pace of research and developing new methods, are helping scientists understand what makes the brain work, change, and grow throughout life.

How the brain works surprises scientists more and more

Scientists call this featureneuroplasticity - the ability of the brain to create new connections, in which it is helped by life experience, environment and genes. While it is not easy to separate what is inherited from what we have learned, many behaviors appear to be a combination of both genetic and environmental factors.

Do you want to know what optical illusions can break your brain? That way!

The myth of Alzheimer's disease

While scientists continue their work, let's focus onalready known (and confirmed) information: as studies have shown, poor memory does not mean 100% development of Alzheimer's disease in old age, because brain can be trained. This will help regular physical activity, solving crossword puzzles, learning foreign languages ​​and the desire to constantly learn something new.

The biggest risk factor for developing dementiaaging is considered, although it does not in itself cause dementia. Today, there is growing evidence that an active lifestyle, healthy eating and socializing reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's destroys the brain

Recall that k neurodegenerative diseases applies large group of diseasesthat most often develop in the elderly. Among the reasons, researchers identify the death of neurons and the growing atrophy of various parts of the brain or spinal cord.

As the results of the study showed,published in 2020 in The Lancet Commission, 40% of all cases of dementia can be attributed to risk factors such as alcohol use, social isolation, lack of physical activity and hypertension. In a word, dementia is not a sentence.

The myth of 10%

The most popular myth about the brain is the myth of10%, whose probable origin can be traced back to the late 1800s, when psychologists William James and Boris Sidis suggested that humans use only a fraction of their mental faculties. And although the hypothesis turned out to be erroneous, many people liked it because of its conciseness and simplicity.

In fact we use 100 percent of our brain all the time, and for its normal operation it takes a lotenergy. In addition, if the brain really worked at 10%, it would only be responsible for a few functions, and you and I would look like zombies from Hollywood blockbusters.

The brain always works at 100% and consumes a huge amount of energy.

Using MRI, researchers have shown that a person uses all areas of his brain, performing certain actions. Even during sleep, the brain continues its work, activating more areas than during wakefulness. And, as I said earlier, the brain is able to create illusions and constantly deceive us.

You can find out more about exactly how this happens here.

The myth of four hours of sleep

Even if you sleep no more than four hours a dayand feel good, the brain thinks otherwise - an adult needs at least seven hours of sleep every night. This is because in a dream the body rests, and the brain is busy forming new memories and combining old ones.

Your brain looks and behaves differently when you sleep.

In addition, during sleep, the brain gets rid of the accumulation of toxic proteins that appeared during wakefulness. Several scientific studies have shown that sleep easier for the brain to get rid of waste productssignificantly reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. So if you suffer from insomnia and other sleep problems, you should consult a doctor.

Catch even more interesting articles on our channel in Yandex.Zen - there are constantly published articles that are not on the site!

The myth of two hemispheres

Chances are you've heard the claims thatpeople use one side of the brain more than the other, and which side you use determines your personality traits. Simply put, people who use the right hemisphere of the brain tend to be creative, and people who prefer the left hemisphere tend to be analytical. Sounds great, but the brain doesn't work that way.

The right and left hemispheres do not work as they might seem

As the brain scan results showusing MRI, foci of activity are observed either on the left or on the right side, depending on what the person is doing. For example, when you write with your right hand, an area in your brain is activated in the left hemisphere. The fact is that it is this area of ​​​​the brain that is responsible for the actions of the right hand. The same thing happens when a person speaks - part of the left hemisphere becomes active, because This is where Broca's area is located.responsible for speech.

More on the topic: Can brain scans explain human behavior?

The myth of the Mozart Effect

From time to time you can hear that listening to classical music makes children smarter. However, the results of studies in 1993 showed that
the effect of listening to Mozart temporarily promotes the development of spatial thinking. And, as is often the case, obtained in the course of work the result was greatly exaggerated.

Playing musical instruments has a positive effect on the brain and health

And although listening to the symphony of Mozart, Bach andRachmaninov does not turn children into geeks, playing musical instruments definitely promotes healthy brain function. By the way, did you know that quiet music soothes and reduces pain? The answer is here, don't miss it!