Brain Myths Debunked

I read with interest an article about the seven most common myths about the brain. In an ASAP Science video, Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown explained why they aren’t true. I’ll just summarize the article. The myths are:

  1. A bigger brain is better (smarter). Not true.
  2. Alcohol kills brain cells. Not true, thank goodness.
  3. Drugs create “holes” in your brain. Not true. Again, thank goodness.
  4. The brain has 100 billion cells. Not true. The brain has only 86 billion brain cells. I get light headed thinking about it.
  5. People use only 10% of your brain. Not true (unless you’re a politician).
  6. People are either “left-brained” or “right-brained.” Not true.
  7. People have only five senses: sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch. Also, not true. People also have a sense of balance, temperature, time, pain and proprioception (the body awareness that helps us not walk into things all the time). Makes sense to me.

I believe that Moffit and Brown missed a few myths. As a public service, I will present them here:

  1. 1. A “No Brainer.” Not true. If someone’s a no brainer, meaning they have no brain, then they are a zombie. At least, I don’t think zombies have brains.
  2. “Blow your mind” or be “mind blowing.” Again, not true. If something blows your mind, once again, your become a zombie.
  3. “Mind altering” or “mind expanding.” Not true. You brain is what it is. Once you become an adult, it is fully grown. It may shrink as you grow older but won’t expand. “Mime” altering is something else entirely.
  4. Eating cold ice cream will make your “brain freeze.” Not true. Opening the top of your head on a cold day will freeze your brain.
  5. Your brain can get a “brain cramp” or a “brain fart”. “Not true. Muscles cramp, not brains. Brains can’t fart either. The correct term should be “senior moment’ which can occur at any age.
  6. Some people have only “half a brain.” Okay, this one might be true, especially if you’re a politician. This phenomenon can be observed on the news all the time. Recently, according to NBC News, a Florida man threw a 3-and-a-half-foot alligator through a Wendy’s drive-thru window. He is charged with unlawful possession of an alligator, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and petit theft. Police suspect he had only half a brain.
  7. “A penny for your thoughts.” Due to inflation, the true cost is 26.5 cents for a thought. People who work for a penny a thought are under paid. This is especially true for writers and bloggers like me.
  8. Someone can get “inside your head” or “mess with your head.” Not true, unless you’re a surgeon. Alcohol can get into your head and mess with your head but not people. If you really want to mess with someone’s head just ask, “You’re not going to wear that, are you?”
  9. People can be “brain dead.” This one’s true. When people are brain dead, the body soon follows and they are declared totally dead. Once that happens they are either buried, become zombies (see #1 above), get elected to congress or become a candidate for President.
  10. People can be “scatter brained.” Not true. Your brain is contained in your scull and can’t scatter. This should not be confused with having your “brains scattered” by some horrible accident.

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