Debunked: 3 Brain Myths That Are Complete Fiction

There are plenty of myths surrounding the human brain. Perhaps, because the mind itself is shrouded in mystery. If you speak to a psychologist they will tell you even they don’t fully understand the link between the brain and the mind. It’s like a puzzle we’re trying to put together but some of the pieces are missing. It’s why some people believe the mind is actually what is commonly referred to as the soul. However, there’s no evidence to show this. The misunderstanding around the brain has lead to several possibilities being presented as fact in pop culture. Some of these ideas pop up so many times you’d be forgiven for thinking they were true. But there’s very little evidence to support any of these myths.

Image By: johnhain
Image By: johnhain

We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brain Or Our Brain Power

This isn’t so much a myth as it is a misunderstood idea. It comes from bad science or someone reading an article and understanding about one percent of what’s written. We’ve seen the idea that we only use ten percent of our brain in numerous films. Recently the idea was brought to life in Inception and Lucy. It’s a fun idea that if we could somehow turn on other parts of our brain, we’d have incredible powers. We would be superheroes. But unfortunately, it’s not true. We do use all of the different parts of our brain, just not all at the same time. Sometimes we’ll use ten percent, other times we’ll use twenty or thirty. The reason why we don’t use it all isn’t that there are some magical parts locked away. It’s because they’re not always needed for what we’re thinking. For instance, if you’re not feeling empathetic you’re not going to be using the part of the brain that relates to empathy.

Photographic Memory

Ever seen the film “Catch Me If You Can?” It told the incredible, true story of a con artist. It’s also the first historical account as what has been commonly described as a photographic memory. There’s just one problem. There’s no such thing. While many people claim to have a photographic memory and some people to seem to have incredible memory abilities, it’s not the same. The closest thing people might have is an Eidetic memory, and this shows up in children. But virtually no adults. If you hold up a picture, these children will remember the picture in vivid detail for around one minute. They will speak in present tense as though it is still in front of their eyes. Two percent of children have been found to have this incredible ability.

There have been  science fiction stories with drugs enhancing the memory and the mind. While some drugs do have the effect of improving brain performance, there is nothing exactly like the limitless pill. Although some researchers believe there are drugs close to this effect.

Big Head, Big Mind

If you see someone with a bowling ball resting on their neck you might think they’re intelligent. Sadly, people who are cranially challenged aren’t necessarily geniuses. It’s possible and even likely that they simply have a thick skull. There could be a tiny brain inside it. Think about the dinosaurs. They had massive heads but their brains were actually rather small compared to our own.