The brain is amazing and complex. However, a lack of understanding has led to a great variety of myths throughout the years.
The common one; bigger is better. While this may be true for some other organs, you only need to look at a sperm whale’s brain which is nearly six times larger than that of the humans to see this myth fall apart. Yes, they’re certainly intelligent animals but their cognitive skills pale in comparison to us—human.
Had a fun night out? Don’t worry alcohol doesn't actually kill your brain cells. Although, it does cause damage and creates problems conveying messages between neurons. The damage is mostly reversible.
Similarly, drugs don’t actually create holes in your brain. Though, some can permanently change your brains functionality and structure. The only thing that can put a hole in your brain is physical trauma. Good thing, you have 100 billion—brain cells—or not.
Surprisingly, it wasn't until 2009 that scientists discovered the true number to be closer to 86 billion. Sure, it may seem like a small difference—but those fourteen billion neurons are equal to the size of an entire baboon brain.
To further put those numbers in perspective, consider that one million seconds is twelve days. Well, one billion seconds is 31 years. So that fourteen billion neurons difference may not be so small after all.
Regardless, we can't use them all, right? Most movies and sci-fi books have us believe that humans can only use around 10 percent of our brain. This is absolute—nonsense! Thanks to modern brain scanning technology. We've learned that we use the whole thing all the time.
Not necessarily all at once. When you're walking for instance, the part of the brain associated with movement is more active than other areas. However, there's no part of the brain that simply doesn't do anything. It represents three percent of the body's weight and uses 20 percent of its energy. That’s a busy brain!
Many people think we generally use one side more than the other, right? Nope! Well, you may have been convinced that if you're more logical or analytical—you're more left-brained. And if you are more creative you’re more right-brained. It’s simply not true.
While different sides of the brain are indeed use for specific functions. For example, language is in the left hemisphere—where the right hemisphere helps to read emotion. Studies on thousands of individuals have found no evidence have a left or right dominance in individuals. In other words, you use both sides equally.
You don't actually have five senses like you were always told. In fact, you have a lot more like nociception in which is the sense of pain and proprioception the sense of how our bodies are positioned. Not to mention, the sense of balance temperature and passing of time.
Scientists of different global research centers are collaborating with top researchers and institutions to uncover new insights about the brain’s mysteries.