7 Myths About the Brain that Might Surprise You
1. MYTH:You’re either left-brained or right-brained.
This long-standing myth has been debunked. There is no evidence that people preferentially use one side of their brain more.
2. MYTH:Cognitive decline is not impacted by choices or circumstances.
We now understand that there are lots of things you can do that appear to fight cognitive decline: exercise, social interaction, good nutrition, brain stimulation and one-on-one brain training.
3. MYTH:IQ cannot be changed.
We now know the brain is “plastic,” that is, capable of changing at any age. And since IQ is simply a measurement of cognitive skills, stronger abilities translate into higher IQ.
4. MYTH: Brain size determines intelligence.
On average, the male brain is about 10 percent larger than the female brain, but it has nothing to do with intelligence.
5. MYTH: Alcohol kills brain cells.
It’s not that brain cells are being killed off by excessive alcohol consumption, it’s that the dendrites (which help cells communicate) are being damaged.
6. MYTH: Some people are just destined to be bad at math.
Struggles with math, called “dyscalculia,” are often caused by weak cognitive skills, which can be trained. Brain training works on the skills needed to learn, process and recall math-related information—such as visual processing, working memory and logic & reasoning.
7. MYTH: Dyslexia is about reading letters backwards.
Dyslexia simply means “trouble with words” and even smart kids can be dyslexic. In people with dyslexia, the weakest cognitive skills are often phonemic awareness and auditory processing, although other areas may suffer as well. Personal brain training can target and train these weak skills.