The brain is one of the most important organs in the body. The close coordination between the brain and the heart keeps us alive and allow us to live a happy life. While the heart has been closely studied, monitored and even controlled, the brain still remains a mystery. Much research has been carried out, but the functions and working of the brain are still not entirely understood. For this reason, a number of myths and incorrect facts have been misleading the public for a very long time. This article aims at removing those myths and giving you a clearer picture of the brain, as science sees it today.
1. We use only 10% of our brain.
One of the most misleading concepts is that we use no more than 10% of our brain. However, this is not true in any case, unless the brain has been damaged and only 10% of it is functional. Different parts of our brain respond to different kinds of stimuli. Some parts are constantly working to control involuntary functions in our body, like blinking the eyes, breathing, digestion, and metabolism. At some time or another, we use every part of our brain, depending on the responses to stimuli.
2. The wrinkles on the brain’s surface develop and become more prominent as we learn more.
The curves, bumps and folds, or as they are scientifically called, the gyri (the curve that rises up) and sulci (the depression between two gyri), appear on the brain of a foetus when it is 40 weeks. These appeared through evolution because the brain grew and had to fold into itself, so that it could fit inside the skull. The brain does go on developing and changing, but the gyri and sulci remain constant through life.
3. Brain damage is permanent.
This sentence is only partially true. When the brain suffers trauma or injury, and the neurons in a particular area are damaged, they do not have the ability to regenerate and repair themselves. In this sense, brain damage is indeed permanent and cannot be altered. However, the brain has the ability to rewire or retrain itself and still perform many of the functions that the damaged areas were responsible for. In this sense brain damage can sometimes be repaired.
4. A person is either “left-brained” or “right-brained”.
This concept is based on the assumption that people favor either the left or the right hemisphere of the brain more. It has also been said that people who predominantly use the left half more are more logical, while those who favor the right side are more creative. However, none of this holds value. MRI scans have shown that as information is processed, it actually does a graceful dance between the two hemispheres, combining the two halves for a more accurate answer.
5. There are five senses.
We’ve often heard that our senses are limited to sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing, but the brain can use these as basics to decipher information about things which we are not aware of. For example, touching furniture in the dark helps the brain to balance without sight, and the scent of a partner gives information of their genetic make-up.
6. Male and female brains are different.
There are a number of differences in the way males and females analyse situations and circumstances, however there is no difference in the way their brains have been constructed. The basic components and structure of the brain remain the same, but the interpretations are different on the basis of upbringing, background and intelligence, not because of the brain structure.
Keeping these facts in mind, it’s clear that neuroscience has advanced and developed over the years. The biggest discovery and development in the field results from the MRI scans which have allowed researchers to closely monitor the brain, its structure and its functions. This has helped break through the myths and give the public a clearer image of this mysterious organ.
==== About the Author ====
Jefferey Morgan has written this article. Although he is not a neurologist, he understands the complex issues and problems faced by people. His site get ripped fast provides tips on how to lose weight and remain fit.