50 myths and truths about the brain

is not true that we use only 10% or Mozart’s music makes babies smarter. Its operation, however, it can improve thanks to video games. It allows us to perform complicated calculations or make decisions without thinking and requires less energy than a refrigerator light bulb. US neuroscientists Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang unraveled in 50 curiosities fascinating secrets of 1.400 gram of staying in the skull of each of us.

[Photo from the news]


[Photo from the news]


"Enter your brain 'by Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang.
“Enter your brain ‘by Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang.


1. Drink not destroy neurons. Excessive drinking for many years leads to brain size is reduced but, usually, is a reversible phenomenon. Red wine may even protect the brain, reducing the risk of stroke, provided the dose range between two glasses a week and up to three glasses per day maximum.

2. A strong blow to the head does not cure amnesia. As much as the film has been determined to convince us of the opposite. Nor is achieved with hypnosis or with the vision of an object much appreciated; as neurosurgery, it is more likely that, rather than remedy the loss of memory, the cause.

3. The left half is not “rational.” This region of the cerebral cortex is the one that produces the language and solve problems, but this does not mean it is “rational half.” The left brain needs logic and order, to the point that if something does not make sense, it is usual that the brain invents a plausible explanation.

4. The mood of them is no more variable than theirs. What happens is that both the formertend to better remember other changes in the mood of women, so that people who are asked to recall the degree of variability in your mood or your partner’s mood swings mentioned in them.

5. The brain is not a computer. As has evolved over millions of years through natural selection, has systems that came with a specific purpose and subsequently adapted for another, even though not They work perfectly. Therefore, it is not the work of an engineer.

6. The blind do not hear better. They do not enjoy better conditions than sighted people to identify sounds, although it is true that they have a better memory, especially for language. They are also more skilled in locating faint sounds. Both skills can help them better recognize everything around them.

7. Listening to Mozart does not make a baby smarter. This myth stems from research conducted among students in higher education which found that the activity produced a limited effect, which lasted only half an hour. However, learning to play a musical instrument is associated with an increased capacity for spatial reasoning.

8. Vaccines do not cause autism. In several countries, remove the component vaccines caused autism ensured that has had no effect on rates of autism diagnosis. Typically, autism is caused by heredity rather a multiplicity of defective genes.

9. The outer folds are not related to intelligence. The convolutions or reliefs are rather related to brain size, because thanks to this provision should be more brains in a smaller space.In the larger brains, bark also contains more white matter, the association fibers that connect distant regions of the brain.

10. It is true that we use only 10%. In the US, this statement first appeared in the writings of Dale CARNEIGE, an author of self – help books that was not scientific. CARNEIGE misquoted a passage psychologist William James, who actually had claimed that use just a fraction of the potential of the brain. And to increase the percentage of used brain, the idea is adding supplement fatorgenius.

The 10% myth is the false belief about the most widespread brain, it appeals to our desire to improve. Some surveys have found that this is what I think most people in the US and Brazil. Today scientists know that the whole brain is necessary for normal functioning, as demonstrated by the consequences of strokes or brain damage. Even limited to a very small part of the brain damage can be detected by neurological symptoms.


11. Willpower increases when we achieve something. It’s like a muscle and can train. After carrying out a task that requires self -control, people no longer rushing a second task with the same degree of effort, even when other tasks and have nothing to do. This common reserves of willpower is strengthened with practice. Consequently, discipline increases willpower.

12. Physical exercise helps the brain in old age. It causes oxygen and glucose continue to flow as a person ages. Practice regularly improves brain function in older people, who may suffer problems of planning and abstract thinking because the frontal cortex declines with age.

13. It is able to tune sounds. It is difficult to use mobile phone in a noisy place. Taponarse the other ear with a finger is not successful. Instead, cover your device’s microphone to listen. This trick uses the brain ‘s ability to separate the signals that come from different places.

14. We can move through space like a browser. One of the most difficult work of the brain is what gets done without us realizing it.

It is relatively easy to make a computer apply logical rules and perform mathematical operations, but it is difficult to evaluate a visual image and move easily through space, as humans do automatically. For example, the human brain can distinguish objects visually and identify voices at a party, tasks that are challenging for a computer.

15. We react before thinking. Often we realize our response to an event only when we have already begun to react. For example, if you ask a group of ordinary people who react to a visual stimulus, they usually indicate environmental awareness have acquired second stimulus after starting to react. Thus, consciousness acts as a kind of interpreter that provides retrospective information on our actions.

16. Take shortcuts and wrong. The brain tends to quickly find an adequate response, rather than spend more time to find the perfect answer. This means that it takes shortcuts and gives many things for granted.

Answer the following problems as quickly as you can without doing the math: a racket and a ball cost 1.10 euros. The racket costs one euro more than the ball. How much does the ball? You may have said 0.10 euros, but the correct answer is 0.5 euros.

17. Eyewitnesses are unreliable. The brain gets rid of most of the information coming at you from the outside once it has verified that there is novel.

For that reason eyewitnesses are manifestly unreliable, partly because we all believe we see and remember more details than we can actually see and remember.

18. Do not always interpret the facts with logic. For most of the time, the brain interprets what we witnessed in accordance with general rules that are easy to apply but not always keep a logic. It requires a lot of effort applied throughout a slow and meticulous analysis, it is appropriate to perform mathematical calculations or solve puzzles.

19. The future is never seen realistically. When we think about how we will be in the future, our brains imagine unrealistic details and leave out others that may be important. Consequently, we are inclined equally to overlook both challenges and opportunities when we plan our lives.

20. Only consume the equivalent of two bananas. All energy consumption can be measured with the same unit power: watt. The brain uses only 12 watts, less than the bulb in your refrigerator, but it can do much more. Every day the brain uses the amount of energy contained two large bananas. Not a lot of power, but a large proportion of the energy budget of the entire body, which is about 70 watts.

21. There is a kind of clock. When we make long – haul flights to the east or west, this watch takes some time to get in time. Staying awake not put the clock, but the light does change your time. The light sets the internal clock according to the time that the brain calculates. Usually, when afternoon at the place of destination of a trip light time puts the brain clock correctly, regardless of who has traveled east or west. However, it is not good to travel too.

Crossing many time zones more than twice a month is hazardous to health, it can cause brain damage and memory problems, probably due to stress hormones.

22. Whenever we remember something, we erased and rewrote the memory. This allows, in the end, actually remember things that have never happened. That explains why different people often remember the same events differently.

23. Chronic stress causes memory loss. An emotional arousal increases the accumulation of important details in long – term memory. The stress activates a hormone secretion acting on the hippocampus and amygdala to enhance memory. Chronic stress, however, can damage the hippocampus and lead to permanent loss of memory.

24. It does not distinguish the taste of sugar. A laboratory mice Diet Coke do not taste sweet. The ingredient that sweetens (aspartame) acts by reacting with the taste buds of the tongue sensitive to sweetness, message received by the brain. But the papillae of mice react only sugar and saccharin, but not aspartame.

25. The spicy heat does not even make you sweat. The taste receptor that identifies Capsaicin, the chemical that makes food taste spicy, also detects high temperatures. This is the reason why the heavily spiced foods make you sweat. The nerve endings sensitive to capsaicin are spread throughout the body, as anyone can see simply touching your eyes with your fingers after a few chopped chillies.

26. Sneezing after an orgasm is a brain “failure.” Many men happens frequently. The reason is that brain ramifications are a much more winding tangle that can lead to strange cable crossovers produce different reflex movements. Another effect produced by the same: one in four people sneezes when looking at a bright light such as the sun.

27. No one can tickle yourself. The reason is that the brain itself predicts what each will feel in response to their own actions. You can use this ability of the brain to defend that tickled one: just put a hand on the hand of the other person while ago.

28. Babies disconnected neural connections that do not use. In general, discard those that are not used enough during the first two years of life. If the brain were a rosebush, the experiences of the outside world would be the technique to be used for pruning, no fertilizer.

29. Who suffers abuse during childhood is more vulnerable to stress. It has been discovered in experiments with rats (which could be transferred to humans) that good parenting makes adult less vulnerable to stress by reducing the intensity of responses your system of stress hormones. Bad parenting increases the risk of depression, anxiety, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

30. If a language is best learned in childhood. Young children recognize the sounds of all languages ​​but from 2 years of age, their brains begin to find it difficult to distinguish sounds that are unusual in their mother tongue .

31. Teenagers are “equipped” to behave well. During adolescence, individuals seen in improved planning and organization of behavior, in inhibiting reactions in attention span, memory and the emotional self. It is probably because the connections in the prefrontal cortex, which are important in regulating behavior, continue to be developed through 20 years of age.

32. His aging makes us happier. As people age seen an improvement in overcoming negative thoughts and emotions control. This may explain why older people tend to be happier than younger people.

33. Video games improve brain function. Students of Higher Education who regularly play these types of games are able to record more objects in a short visual stimulus that they do not play. In addition, playing reprocess information faster, more objects recognize a stroke and can switch tasks more easily.

34. memorizes the agenda for the exam in one sitting. The brain retains information longer if breaks between successive courses of study are made. Two separate study sessions can facilitate assimilate twice knowledge that a single session of the same total duration.

35. If the neurons are renewed in adulthood. They were born in the olfactory bulb, which processes odors, and the hippocampus, which is important for memory. Learning exercise or improve survival of these neurons.

36. Select is not his forte. People tend to feel more satisfied with their decisions when they have few alternatives to choose from when they have many options. Having to make many comparisons can reduce the feeling of satisfaction that leads to regret not having chosen the alternatives that we have neglected.

37. heals moderate depression without pills. At the end of the day, can be written down three good things that have occurred and a brief statement of the circumstances that have led each of them. This exercise increases the feeling of happiness and reduces the symptoms of moderate depression within a few weeks.

38. Love is a drug. The regions of the brain that cause drug addiction also react to natural positive stimuli like love. These regions help animals to establish links with their peers-which may explain the reasons for their existence, despite the collateral damage that causes addiction.

39. orgasms make us more confident. Oxytocin, a hormone released during orgasm, increases trust among people in social relations. Persons who were given oxytocin spray nasally presented two times more likely to give money to someone else who did not receive the treatment, which suggests that experiencing orgasms can influence decision-making.

40. younger siblings are more likely to be gay. In fact, having an older brother is a known factor that can better predict homosexuality. The presence of a male fetus can cause pregnant women produce antibodies against certain molecules that determine sexual orientation. In subsequent pregnancies antibody could inhibit this molecule.

41. The brain betrays women in mathematics. In many countries the notion that girls are not very good at math. Girls have poorer performance on tests if before we do ask them to indicate their gender. However, they get a better result if before the exam hear a lecture on famous math or remind them they are good students.

42. Men and women space are oriented differently. Women are more dependent benchmarks to navigate, and many often give directions such as “turn left at the fountain and looking red house”.

Instead, the men identify the right direction from a mental map of space: “Go east one kilometer and then turn north.” However, women remember the location of objects more easily than men.

43. We are getting smarter. The mean scores on intelligence tests have increased from three to eight points per decade in the twentieth century in many industrialized countries. The fact is not due to evolution but to improve the living conditions of economically disadvantaged children.

44. Certain brain circuits have specialized in imitation. Such circuits may be important for identification or empathy feelings.Called ‘mirror neurons’ are activated when the animal performs an action such as, for example, firmly grab their food, or when it sees another animal perform the same action.

45. Some damage of strokes can be avoided. Symptoms of a stroke include sudden inability to move a limb, or speak, or even numbness of a considerable part of the body. Treatment of stroke can prevent long – term damage, but only if the patient comes to a hospital within a few hours.

46. ​​mirages are not a legend. Visions as a result of a disorder can occur in brain functioning. Mountaineers report sometimes having seen his side peers who do not know, having observed a light emitted by themselves or by others or have been afraid suddenly, all of which can be derived from deprivation or insufficient oxygen in the temporal and parietal lobes of the cerebral cortex.

47. Many “possessed” were actually sick brain. In times practiced exorcisms people whose behavior was strange and inexplicable.Today it is known that many of these people had suffered neurological diseases such as epilepsy or schizophrenia.

48. After the amputation of a limb, patients can feel the presence of a “phantom limb”. The reason is that the brain has registered a map of the body and takes time to assimilate disappears representation of the lost limb.

49. Pain resides in the brain and can be controlled. The brain activity completely determines the sensation of pain and its intensity.Scientists are trying to use brain imaging and feedback techniques to teach people to turn on their own areas of the brain that control pain.

In one experiment it was possible that the brain of an expert in meditation inhibit their response to the prick of a needle on the cheek.This method could be used for chronic pain sufferers reduce the feeling of discomfort voluntarily activating the placebo effect.

50. Science works on getting the paralyzed move their limbs. Researchers are working on the design of prosthetic arms to help patients suffering almost total paralysis. Through a monitoring brain activity, researchers can deduce what the movement seeking toreproduce and use this information to guide an artificial arm



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