5 BRAIN MYTHS

 

 

FRIDAY 03 APRIL 2020  

 

In this blogstory I will adress 5 myths about the brain so keep on reading ..

1. We only use 10% of our brains.

Technology has evolved so quick in the last decennia. This resulted  in various brain technologies techniques , such as FMRI’s and EEG’s. With these technologies, researchers have proven that we use more than 10% of our brain. Jup, we practically use it all, even when we sleep, different brain regions are stimulated. Maybe you're asking yourself the question , but how? Let me explain it to you. The electrodes of an EEG headset detects the electrical changes of thousands of neurons signaling in your brain at the same time. The signals from the electrodes are sent to an amplifier which amplifies the signal. The computer then receives this signal, and generate various maps of brain activity. With a EEG it’s unfortunately difficult to know whether the signal was produced near the surface or from a deeper region, but nevertheless you are able to see the brain activity. To get more in depth information the FMRI was used. The FMRI measures brain activity by focusing on the blood flow in the brain. As a result this brain mapping technique can localize activity within millimeters. 

2. Only classic music, like mozart improves memory and concentration.

Previous research talked about classical music being the only music that could improve memory and concentration. This is not the case. Next to classic music there are other types of music that can help people with performing tasks and retain information better. Dr. Emma Gray found that the brain enters into an alpha state when we listen to music set in the range between 50- to 80- beat. This state allows us to concentrate and memorize things better, because our mind is at ease. So listening to natural sounds, like rainfall, flowing water , water fountains have also proven to enhance concentration. This also applies to cinematic music, like soundtracks from inception, the bourne identity, james bond and more other types of music 

 

3. Alcohol kills our brain cells.

When you drink alcohol, it affects several parts of the brain. Some of these parts are: the frontal lobe ( area that is involved in evaluating choices and making decisions) , the amygdala ( area that controls your emotions ), cerebellum ( area that controls coordination ), hippocampus ( area that is involved in memory ) and visual cortex ( area that involves your vision). When you drink to much alcohol these areas won’t function well. Even though alcohol doesn't kill brain cells, it does kill the dendrites of a neuron. Dendrites are the end of a neuron. Their function is to send messages to other neurons. So the brain and the body are able to function well. To much alcohol will damage the neurotransmission in those areas. Which results in memory loss, losing control of emotions or willpower, engaging in risky behaviors etc. It is true that these dendrites restore themselves, but it’s important to be careful and just stick with a moderate amount of alcohol. Because neuroscience has proof that a moderate amount of alcohol is beneficial for the brain. A large Harvard study ( of 14,000 middle-aged women) found that women who drank between ½ an ounce and 1 ounce of alcohol per day were more likely to remain free from chronic illness and memory loss as they aged. And other studies linked red wine to heart and brain health benefits. And that a low to moderate amount of daily champagne consumption improved communication between cells and boost the electrical signals.


 

4. We have a dominant brain hemisphere:You are left-brained or right-brained.

The brain has two hemispheres (parts). From the outside they appear the same , but they do have some different functions. Let’s dive a little deeper into this subject. The right hemisphere controls the left body and the left hemisphere the right body. Next to that each hemisphere has some areas that are unique. The left-side of the brain has functions like analytic thoughts, logica, language, reasoning, science, math, numbers skill, writing and is connected to the right hand. The right side of the brain on the other hand has functions as art awareness, creativity, imagination, intuition, insight, holistic thoughts, music awareness, 3D forms and is connected to the left hand. For a long time science believed that If you were left-handed you had a dominant right brain. After examining the brain of more than 1000 people, researchers found that there was no significant difference among people in terms of their brain dominance. So there is not such thing as left-brained people and right brained people. 

 

5. Having high cholesterol is bad for your brain

Let’s first start with what is cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fat-like compound that is found in all of the body’s cells and it serves many functions. For example, cholesterol is use to make vitamin D and it’s an important component of cell membranes and cell signaling. You’ve probably heard that high cholesterol is bad, but some recent studies say that while high cholesterol under the 80’s is bad. High cholesterol levels at 80 may be just what the brain needs. Researchers have observed that elderly people with high cholesterol levels are less like to have dementia than those with low cholesterol levels. 

Greetings,

MELISA D.HALLEY