The human brain is one of the most extraordinary organs in the body. With all that it is able to perform, it is also one of the least well-understood organs and that’s one of the reasons why there are a lot of myths associated with the mind. While there is some truth to them, others are completely wrong and we’re here to shed light on those that aren’t true. Let’s take a look at the most mysterious organ in the body.
1. Brain Size Affects Intelligence
You might have heard the saying “bigger is better”, but that isn’t necessarily true, especially when it comes to the brain. Intelligence is determined by the number of synapses (or connections) between neurons rather than its size. The myth might have started because intelligence is connected to the volume of gray matter, especially in the frontal lobe. Taller people have been shown to have larger brains but there are no studies that show they are smarter because of it. The takeaway is that a person’s cognitive ability cannot be determined by the size of their brain.
2. Alcohol Kills Brain Cells
It is often said that alcohol kills brain cells, but is it really true? Well, according to research, alcohol does a number of things to the brain and killing it is not one of them. Depending on how much is consumed, alcohol can either impair its function or it can cause other problems. Having a drink every now and then has not been shown to have significant health concerns, in fact, some studies show that there are some benefits. Binge drinking, on the other hand, especially for long periods of time has been shown to hinder the brain’s neurons when sending messages to each other. It can then lead to memory loss and impaired muscle coordination.
3. Babies Who Listen to Classical Music Are Smarter
The Mozart Effect is a scientific theory that states that listening to Mozart (and other classical compositions) increases a child’s spatial intelligence. The original study, which was published in 1993 led to a surge of classical music CD sales. It included a group of 36 college students who showed improvement in their work after listening to Mozart. When the study was replicated, there was little evidence suggesting that it did improve intelligence. Expecting mothers no longer have to press headphones to their bellies to make their kids smarter.
4. Humans Have the Largest Brains
From the beginning of our existence, humans have debated whether we were the smartest ones in the animal kingdom and while there may be some biases there, some people have gone as far as saying that we also have the largest brain. For those who may not be aware, the human brain weighs approximately 3 pounds, while an elephant’s is approximately 12 and a sperm whale, 20. As pointed out earlier, brain weight does not equate to intelligence, but saying that we have the largest, is quite a stretch and is completely false.
5. IQ Stays the Same Throughout Life
Many believe that a person’s IQ stays the same throughout their life, but in actuality it moves up and down as a person ages. A person’s ability to recall information is believed to peak at 18, but that same person’s emotional intelligence can improve well into their 30s. Several studies have shown that education background and life experiences also contribute towards the rise and fall of a person’s IQ. Lastly, there are several ways to determine a person’s IQ and the margin of error can be +/- 6 points at any time.
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