5 Myths About Your Brain

No, we don't just use 10% of the thing

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted May 30, 2011 6:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – The brain is much mythologized in mainstream culture—so much so that many believed “facts” are actually fiction, reports the Smithsonian:

  1. We use just 10% of our brains. Nope, brains scans show that even basic tasks use a large portion of the brain—and even a small brain injury can have big repercussions.
  2. We lose brain power after 40. It does get harder to learn languages or memorize random words—but older people have bigger vocabularies, are better at judging character, and test better on social matters, like conflict resolution.

  1. We’ve got exactly five senses. Actually, we have far more: There’s proprioception, which senses our physical position, and nociception—which senses pain—to name just two.
  2. We see what’s really in front of us. Instead, we look for patterns and we overlook what we don’t expect. When subjects were told to count basketball passes, they often don’t notice a man on the scene in a gorilla suit.
  3. Men and women are totally different. Research suggesting this view is wildly biased. Sure, when looking for a partner, we see things differently. But ability-wise, from memorization to communication to empathy, we’re “almost entirely overlapping.”
Click for more on brain mythology.

  (Shutterstock)
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