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Fairy tales of our brain

During the study of the capabilities of our brain, its structure and functions, many theories have appeared. We will reveal some of them today.

Tale 1. What percentage of our brain do we use?

There is a myth that a person uses his brain only by 10%, and the remaining 90% is an inactive reserve. And it is said we can unleash this potential with the help of various techniques or medicines.

Where did this assumption come from?

At the end of the 19th century, the founder of psychology in the United States, William James, stated that most people do not fully use their mental potential. It meant that a person is capable of many things in terms of mental activity, and not that the brain is not fully involved. But the wrong interpretation took root, which was supported by the "discoveries" of scientists of that time. Researchers for a long time could not understand the purpose of certain parts of the brain, the damage of which did not cause movement disorders, therefore these areas were considered inactive.

Now we know that they are responsible for sensory and associative activity, they play a key role in abstract thinking, planning, volitional behavior and quick adaptation to new conditions. The subconscious part of thinking happens there, they contain all the knowledge that we have accumulated during our life, which seems we do not remember, but sometimes at the right moment they can emerge like from nowhere. Without them, human is not a human.

Thus, we all use our brain 100%, i.e. use ALL parts of the brain. The whole question is HOW we use the resource given to us.

Tale 2. One of the brain hemispheres is more developed than the other

Have you ever heard someone say that he has more developed left or right hemisphere? There is a popular idea among the people that one of the hemispheres of the brain dominates in a person. As a result, “right-brain” people are more emotional and creative, and “left-brain” people have an analytical mindset and developed logic.

Despite the fact that experts recognize the separation of brain areas "by functions", no one can be completely "right-hemisphere" or "left-hemisphere". A person uses both hemispheres in his activities, with the only difference that he turns to some areas of the brain more often than others, so, some neural connections are strengthened by multiple actions, while others are not developed. That is why most people are "narrow specialists" and not "Jack of all trades."

Tale 3. The size and the weight of the brain affect intelligence

The size and the weight of the brain also have nothing to do with mental abilities. On average, the human brain weighs about 1.5 kg, the weight of the brain of an elephant is 5 kg, the weight of a whale brain is 9 kg. Among people, the trend is also not revealed. For example, the brain of Albert Einstein weighed 1230 g - less than the weight of the brain of an average person, and the owner of the heaviest brain (2850 g) was a patient in a psychiatric hospital, suffering from idiocy.

Tale 4. Men are smarter than women

Scientific studies have shown that the male’s brain is on average 10% larger than the female’s brain, but it has also been proven that the female’s brain has more nerve cells and connections, therefore it works more efficiently than the male one. However, it should be noted that by about fifty years this difference is evened out.


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