10 Myths (Debunked) About Brain Health

Here are the most common myths about brain health that we bust with snarky remarks.

The human brain isn’t like outer space, I mean, it’s not an unchartered territory that we know little about, the damn thing sits on top of our heads for crying out loud. You’d be surprised by how people rarely Google about brain health. But I guess you should never underestimate the human propensity for taking their health for granted, and also, people just don’t give a sh!t. Especially when the new season of Game of Thrones is on. That’s probably why most of them still think these myths are true. And I’d like to wager a hundred brain cells that you too believe in some of these, especially this first one…

MYTH #1: You only use 10% of your brain

Thanks to Hollywood and ancient neurology, this myth has duped most of humanity. Well, we’re here to kick it in the nuts. You use all of your brain. Tada. Recent neuroimaging technology has conclusively smashed the wazoo out of this falsehood. While not all of the brain fires up all at once, we use different parts for specific functions. Depending on what function is needed, different areas of the brain will be engage. This has been proven by research using functional magnetic resonance images (fMRI) [1].

MYTH #2: Smart kids come from smart parents

Haven’t you heard of the chicken rice stall owner who spawned the evil genius children? I made up the evil part. Genes simply do not dictate the intelligence of a person. We have life­long brain plas­tic­ity, which means that our lifestyles, environment, education, and learning behaviors play a significant role in how our brains evolve physically and functionally throughout our lifetime [2].

MYTH #3: Good Memory = Healthy Brain

Surprisingly, memory skills have nothing to do with everyday mental performance as much as frontal lobe functioning. This means that you can have an uber memory but you aren’t necessarily innovative, insightful, or creative. Take them Chinese and Korean kids for example; great at memorising then replicating products, terrible at innovating new shit.

MYTH #4: High IQ indicates intelligence

Parents who boast about their ugly-ass kids’ high IQ can go suck it. IQ tests are based on measurements that were developed more than a century ago! Way before something called the Internet. It mainly emphasises on knowledge, memory and speed in solving mathematical equations — all of which can be trained. To quote that crazy smart dude, Einstein; “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

MYTH #5: Drugs will put holes in your brain

If I did have a hole in my brain, I'd fill it with guy.

If I did have a hole in my brain, I’d fill it with this guy.

If you believe this is true then you might actually have a hole in your brain. All drugs do to your brain is reduce its size, damage neurotransmitters and mess up serotonin and dopamine production. Only head trauma can physically damage your brain. Either way, take care of it.

MYTH #6: You get smarter by playing video games, Sudoku and other stuff

Mom was right. Interactive games can make brain interventions more engaging and scalable, but it is important to distinguish the means from the end, obviously not all video games or problem solving activities are the same. Yes they can train your reflexes but not necessarily make you any smarter (booo!).

MYTH #7: The more you multitask, the smarter you get

Like we mentioned above, the brain has to call on different regions to handle different functions, and now you’re loading more workload? This would make your brain work inefficiently because the communication isn’t synchronized. When you overuse your brain in this way, the frontal lobes become fatigued. This slows efficiency and decreases performance. And you’re not impressing anybody.

MYTH #8: You are either a left or right brain person

What a beautiful artful, now let us sh!t all over it.

What a beautiful artful, now let us sh!t all over it with a big WRONG.

“Look, everyone! This social media game says that I’m a right brain person, that means I am creative! Share, share, share.” No, asshole. You use both the right and left hemispheres of your brain to perform everyday tasks. The integration of input is made possible by the fiber connections between the two sides [3].  The only way you’d be fully a left or brain person is if you damaged or removed one side, which would just make you retarded.

MYTH #9: Exercise does nothing for your brain

This anthropomorphic brain looks weak af.

This anthropomorphic brain looks weak af.

By now you should know that this myth has been busted [4]. There’s a reason the nerds leading silicon valley and the corporate giants incorporate exercise into their daily routine. But if they don’t, then keep that shit to yourself, the rest of us have a lot to catch up.

MYTH #10: The more hours I put my brain to work, the better it gets

That’s like saying the more I redline your car, the longer it will last.It’s pretty much common sense. The brain isn’t a muscle, it’s the f#$kin’ brain.

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