Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.
The brain is the most complex organ of the human body . Our brain determines how we experience the world around us. This fantastic and essential organ weighs about 1,400 grams and contains around 100 billion neurons, the cells that carry information.
Like any other organ, the brain is affected by our lifestyle, our diet and the amount of exercise we usually do.
To improve the health and function of the brain , we should follow a balanced diet and not forget to take nuts and almonds frequently (as nuts are rich in omega fatty acids and antioxidants, beneficial to brain health).
Eating well improves overall health and well-being. It also reduces the risk of developing health problems that can lead to dementia , which include cardiovascular disease
or type 2 diabetes.
Fortunately, there are certain foods that promote brain health, such as dark-skinned fruits and vegetables. Some foods are rich in vitamin E, such as spinach, broccoli and blueberries. Others are rich in beta carotene, including red peppers and sweet potatoes. Vitamin E and beta carotene promote brain health; fish, such as salmon, mackerel and tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can support cognitive function.
Exercise is crucial to the health of our brain, because regular exercise also reduces the risk of health problems that can lead to dementia.
We must not forget to keep our brain active.The more we use the brain, the better the mental functions become. For this reason, brain training exercises are a good way to maintain overall brain health.
Unfortunately, a series of beliefs related to our thinking body are quite widespread. It usually happens that when someone hears a rumor about how the brain works, it spreads it, regardless of whether it is true or not.
There are many myths about our brain and its functioning, so today we are going to talk about the most common myths and find out if there is any truth in them. Do we only use 10% of our brain? How many times would you have heard this phrase? We begin with the most widespread myth.
Do we use 10% of the brain?
FALSE . The myth that we use only 10% of our brain is a mere urban legend that was amplified by the plot of the movie Unlimited 2011 (starring Bradley Cooper), which revolves around a ‘wonderful drug’ that gives the protagonist of a prodigious memory and incredible analytical powers. Subsequently the Lucy movie of 2014, would generate similar comparison. We do not have a switch to activate new neurons. We use the whole brain all the time, because the brain functions as an ‘all’. In fact, in terms of evolution, it would be quite bad to have used so much time and energy in the growth of such a large brain to not use most of it. I’m sorry, but you use all your brain.
Different people according to the hemisphere that dominates in the brain?
FALSE. Many believe the people in which the right hemisphere dominates are more creative and those in the left are more logical. However, studies suggest that this is a myth: we are not subject to one cerebral hemisphere or another. A healthy person constantly uses both hemispheres. What is certain is that the hemispheres have different tasks.
A 2013 study from the University of Utah (USA) examined the brains of more than 1,000 people and found that there was no significant difference between people in terms of their mastery of the brain. Essentially, when looking at the magnetic resonance images of brain activity, both sides of the brain were more or less equal in their neural networks and connectivity. The myth of the “right or left hemisphere” could have arisen from the work of Roger Sperry, who won a Nobel Prize for his research in patients with epilepsy.
Does alcohol kill neurons?
FALSE. Obviously long-term alcoholism can cause a series of health problems, including brain damage. However, it is not as simple as saying that drinking alcohol kills neurons. This, strictly speaking, is a myth. It does not destroy them but it does damage them. The reasons are complicated. For example, if a woman drinks too much alcohol during pregnancy, it can affect the brain development of the fetus and even cause fetal alcohol syndrome. The brains of babies with this condition may be smaller and have fewer neurons, which can lead to difficulties with learning and behavior. Be that as it may, let’s not forget that drinking alcohol is harmful to health. Where does this myth come from? It probably came about in the wake of a 1990 study where Harper and Krill concluded that alcoholics had fewer neurons.
Should you speak a language before learning another?
FALSE . Children who learn English at the same time as they learn Spanish, French or whatever language, do not confuse one language with the other and, therefore, do not develop more slowly. The areas of the brain do not compete for the resources to learn one or another language. In fact, young children who learn two languages, even at the same time, obtain a better generalized knowledge of the structure of the language as a whole.
Do subliminal messages help us learn?
FALSE. Research suggests that subliminal messages can elicit an emotional response in people who do not know they have received an emotional stimulus, but can subliminal messages help a person learn new things? A study published in the journal Nature Communications found that listening to vocabulary recordings while asleep could improve a person’s ability to remember words. This was only the case of people who had already studied this vocabulary .
The researchers concluded that listening to information while we sleep can not help us learn new things, but it may improve the recovery of previously learned information.
Is a new fold formed in the brain every time we learn something?
FALSE. The human brain is covered by folds, commonly known as ‘wrinkles’. Some people believe that a new fold or groove is formed every time a person learns something new. We regret to communicate that it is not true. The brain begins to develop these ‘wrinkles’ before birth and this process continues throughout childhood. What is certain is that the brain makes new connections constantly and breaks old ones, even in adulthood.
Do men and women learn differently?
FALSE. No research has shown gender-specific differences in how networks of neurons connect when we learn new skills. Even if some gender differences do eventually arise, they are likely to be small and based on averages; in other words, they will not necessarily be relevant to any particular individual.
Ultimately, we do not know enough about the brain to draw meaningful conclusions about how men and women learn .
A learning style?
Many were taught that they had a ” learning style ” in school, that is, the idea that some people are better than others better at retaining information orally, visually or aurally. FALSE. In reality, there is very little scientific evidence that learning styles exist. A recent study by the Indiana University School of Medicine (US) was instrumental in this regard, as researchers Polly Husmann and Valerie O’Loughlin found that students who modified their learning style did not improve their grades. . “This research provides additional evidence that conventional wisdom about learning styles should be rejected by educators and students alike,” the authors conclude.
Do we only have 5 senses?
FALSE. Since we are very young we are taught at school about the five senses : sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. But, reality, is something more complicated than that, and we have some more. Some neuroscientists list up to 21 slightly different ways of detecting things. For example, touch is actually an amalgamation of some different senses. We have the perception of pressure, heat and pain, called nociception. The perception (another example), is the ability of our body to locate the position of the joints at all times.
Is not the brain repaired?
The brain is the organ that controls everything in your body, which is why damaging it is a big problem. Researchers-in the past-used to believe that we had a finite number of neurons and that they did not grow anymore. Quite the contrary, we now know that the brain is relatively “plastic” and can generate new cells. You can also repair yourself or count on other parts of the brain to help with different functions if the damage is irreparable.
We know what makes us happy or sad
FALSE. We probably all have a good idea of what we enjoy and what we do not. But the truth is that we have no control over what scenarios and experiences make us happy or sad at the time. Research has shown that we overestimate how happy social and leisure activities will make us. And also how hard we will be on Monday mornings after the weekend. If someone close to us dies, we can not predict the pain and despair he feels, but neither does it tend to last as long as one usually imagines. As a result, our brains are more resistant than we think.
Listening to Mozart makes you smarter
FALSE . (What else would we like). A study conducted in the 1950s found that if students at the University of California at Irvine (USA) listened to 10 minutes of a Mozart sonata before performing an IQ test, they improved their scores by 8. points. It is what was known as the “Mozart effect” . However, the study was widely considered controversial. The fact is that no other scientist has been able to replicate the results.
Being in a coma is like being asleep
FALSE. In the movies, the commas seem harmless: a well-cared for patient lies in bed for a few months and wakes up well, without problems in the joints and seemingly unharmed after this ordeal. But this only happens in fiction . In real life, those who come out of a coma often suffer from disabilities and need rehabilitation. A team of scientists from the French National Center for Scientific Research, in 2012, discovered thanks to brain scans that regions of the brain of high traffic appear mysteriously dark in patients in coma (while other areas are inexplicably illuminated). The longer a coma lasts, the more serious the wounds will be upon awakening.
The brain is gray
FALSE. The brain is usually completely gray, but it also has other colors. It has white matter, with nerve fibers that connect it to gray matter; also blood that, logically give a reddish color, and the so-called ” substantia nigra ” or black substance that contains neuromelanin, which gives pigments to the skin or hair. So the brain has a wider range of colors than we think.
How much energy does the brain use?
You may have read or heard all sorts of things about how much energy the brain uses. To clear up doubts, we will tell you that the brain represents around 2% of a person’s weight, but uses 20% of its oxygen and calories, which is why the food we follow each day is so relevant.
What percentage of water does the brain have?
This data was established for the first time in 1945, when scientists estimated that the brain has about 73% (the human body in general is composed of 60% water). With this percentage so high, keeping the brain hydrated is important. Being dehydrated can affect our ability to perform tasks that involve attention, memory and motor skills.
Cholesterol is bad for the brain
In this case we must say that it is FALSE . Although cholesterol is a type of fat we usually consider harmful to health and it is true that high cholesterol is bad for the heart, however, many people do not know that cholesterol plays an important role in the human brain . And it is that without cholesterol, the cells of the brain would not survive. About 25% of the body’s cholesterol is contained in brain cells. In this way, the brain produces its own cholesterol and, inside it, it is essential to keep the neurons alive and healthy.