A squishy ball of grey is all you are. Can you imagine that? Well you should because that squishy ball called grey matter, the stuff squeezed into the brain, is what defines you. Your identity, consciousness, and awareness are all tied down to your grey matter. In short, you are your brain.
But, besides the high school knowledge about the brain and how it works, do you really know everything there is to know about that organ without which you wouldn’t be you? While the neurons in your brain fire up all the time, telling you what to do, think and do, there are so many misconceptions about the brain. In this article, we’d like to set the record straight on some of the things you could have missed and what you go wrong. Here are some of the truths about your brain:
You use more than 10% of the brain
We’ve been told and believed the alleged fact that humans only use 10% of their brain power, right? And in some unexplained wave of excitement, knowing that you have 90% worth of untapped potential in brainpower has given you so much hope for the future. Like most of us, you believe that tapping into that mystical 90% of untapped higher power; cognitive function could result in a higher brain capacity that makes it possible for you to learn 10 or more languages at once and that you could finally get a grasp of the complexities of Big Data and Information technology. But, none of that is the truth.
According to The Scientific American, we use 100% of our brains, every single day. We know, we just burst your bubble. But, it’s the truth. The human brain is super-complex, but there isn’t any wasted space. This might explain the complexity of brain surgeries. Just think about it for a moment – if a neurosurgeon nicks one neuron or cluster of neurons, they alter the patient’s control over an internal organ, a finger, toes, speech, language, etc. And it might not seem like much, but even the most intricate activities you engage in like making your morning coffee requires a great deal of cohesion from multiple parts of the brain, and unbelievable intricate neural processes that take place in disparate zones of the brain.
Right-brained or Left-brained
For a long time, the right/ left-brained paradigm has been used to explain varying styles of thinking, but it’s not quite scientific. And going by a report by Psychology Today, the left and right hemispheres of the brain do not have varying levels of strengths, and these two hemispheres work together, rather than apart as we’ve been made to believe.
Take the left hemisphere; for example, it’s known as the part of the brain that’s dominant in language processing. However, the ability to pick on and understand subtle cues like emotions in language – intonation, is a quality and function of the right hemisphere. So, while the two halves of the brain do different things they still communicate with each other, which means that the proper functioning of the brain depends on the function of the two hemispheres.
The size of your brain isn’t of any significance
Here’s something we can agree on – humans are incredibly smart, and though some of the things we see happening around us point to nothing than dumb humans, human beings are generally smart humans, and the size of your brain doesn’t matter.
Do you doubt this? Think about the massive size of the cranium perched on your spindly shoulders. Do you think, even for a second that your intelligence is a factor dependent on the size of your brain? If the size of the brain correlated with IQ, the smartest men and women wouldn’t carry their heads, and the biggest brain would be that of a sperm whale.
According to Popular Science, humans are gifted with quite a heavy brain to body ratio of 1:40, trees 1:10, and ants 1:7. So, intelligence is not about the size of the brain, but more about the complexity of the brain.
The other facts you should know about the brain include:
The brain does not stop developing – it never stops evolving, changing or adapting thanks to a process called neuroplasticity which is the brain’s natural process of continuous reorganization.
The brain doesn’t sleep or power down – the brain is always working which is why you remember things that happened to you years ago. The brain consolidated and stored those memories while you slept.
The brain doesn’t hurt, feel pain or any other sensations. Headaches and migraines are sensations in the pia and dura, the tissue between the skull and the brain which have nociceptors that tell you when you’re uncomfortable and in pain.