Can You Pass the “Brain Game?”
You ready to have a little fun with me today?
How much do you really know about the command center of your body... your brain?
We worry about it. We want to protect it. We think about it, especially as we get older. But think you know a lot about your brain?
Well, let's see if you're right.
I'm going to give you a few questions, and you decide: is it TRUE, or a MYTH?
- The size of your brain does not determine your intelligence. (T or M?)
- Your brain is good at multitasking. (T or M?)
- You learn when you add new cells to your brain. (T or M?)
- Your brain has no pain receptors. (T or M?)
- By the time you're 18, your brain is fully developed. (T or M?)
- The brain is the fattiest organ in the body. (T or M?)
- You only use 10% of your brain. (T or M?)
- Humans have the largest brain of all mammals. (T or M?)
- You are born with a set number of brain cells. (T or M?)
OK, let's see how you did.
- True! Albert Einstein actually had a smaller brain than average. But it did have many connections linking different areas inside his brain. It's these connections and how many there are that are more important than the overall size of your brain.
- Myth! If you define multitasking as doing more than one thing that requires attention, your brain actually isn't good at that. Things that work in the background, like regulating your breathing and blood pressure, sure – you can do those without thinking about it. But when you do two things that require attention at once, your brain actually switches back & forth. This is called "context-switching."
- Myth! New cells can be added to your brain. But learning happens as the connections between the cells change. When you learn something new, cells fire together and create associations. The more you practice, the stronger these connections become.
- True! The brain perceives pain signals from other parts of the body, but it has none of its own. If someone poked your brain tissue, you wouldn't feel it at all!
- Myth! Your brain keeps developing well into adulthood. In particular, the part most important for reasoning and decision-making doesn't mature until we're in our mid-20s.
- True! Overall your brain is 75-80% water. But the rest is solid tissue, at a minimum of 60% fat.
- Myth! Though more than 6 out of 10 believe this myth, it's just not true. Brain scans have shown that even when you're sleeping, a whole bunch of your brain is still actively working away.
- Myth! Sperm whales have the biggest brain of any species. It's 5 times larger than ours. But (sorry whale), relative to the rest of our bodies, ours are the biggest.
- Myth! Though some parts of the brain have a set number of cells, the hippocampus continues to add new neurons into adulthood. Your hippocampus is involved in mood, memory and reward.
Did you learn something new? I know I did.
Just be careful who you call a "fat head." Because as you now know, we're all fat heads in the end!