3 Common Myths about the Brain
The Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is a global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress in brain research and its importance for our society.
As an official BAW partner, we at NeuroNation would also like to answer this challenge, and are happy to present the most famous myths and misbeliefs around our brain.
Myth no. 1: We use only 10% of our brain
This myth is as old, as the wish of unlimited brain capacity. Although, it is correct that for a specific task the brain requires only a small part of the total capacity, our daily mental activity consists of a combination of diverse tasks. Furthermore, as the brain is responsible for our basic life functions such as breathing, a significant amount of the brain’s resources is required for these functions.
Myth no. 2: Left brain vs. right brain
According to this very persisting myth, people can be divided into rational left-brain thinkers and emotional right-brain thinkers. It is clear that different functions activate different parts of the brain; for example, certain parts in the left hemisphere show stronger activation during logical reasoning tasks than in the right hemisphere. However, there is no evidence showing that people would be more inclined to use either the left or the right side of the brain.
Myth no. 3: All mental abilities decline, as you get older
In general, our basic cognitive functions start to show decline after the age of 25. The decline happens slowly but steadily, and it can be seen as increased reaction times and later as impaired memory performance. However, as some cognitive functions decline, others show no decline or even improvements with increasing age. For example, general knowledge and basic skills such as arithmetic that are acquired at young age are well retained into old age.
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