3 Popular Misconceptions About The Brain

The human brain is exceptional. We see the evidence of this fact on a daily basis through the discoveries, works of art, and reasoning abilities of people all over the world. We’ve evolved to be self-conscious, adaptable, and we have the ability to recognize and deconstruct our most complex emotions.

Although all of this is true, there are some myths out there about the brain and what it can actually do. Apparently, our highly evolved brains are also capable of overestimating their abilities, and even describing some of those abilities in the wrong way. If you’re interested in finding out more about the brain, the myths surrounding them, and some truth as well, here are three myths that might surprise you.

1. The Brain Contains 100 Billion Neurons

This number could sound like a lot, or it could sound like too little. Either way, this is a common “fact” to toss around during discussions of human brain power.
Neurons are the foundation of the nervous system, which are cells that have tendrils extending from their bodies in every direction. These little cells are what the brain uses to process information, control bodily functions, and even coordinate actions.
You aren’t the only one to use this figure to describe the number of neurons in the brain. In fact, many scientific articles and journals use it as well. However, the real number of neurons in the brain is around 86 billion, not 100. This seems like an insignificant difference relative to the size of the figures themselves, but the difference is actually the number of neurons a baboon brain has, or about half that of a gorilla, so it makes quite the difference.

2. The Bigger the Brain, the Smarter You Are

In this case, size truly doesn’t matter if you’re talking about brain power. When we look within the confines of a certain species brain size might play a small roll, but it actually has nothing to do with intelligence when comparing two different species. For example, a cow’s brain is a much larger organ than the brain of a monkey, but they also show significantly less when it comes to cognitive ability.
If you want to compare human brain size and power to another species, you’d have to look at much larger mammals. The human brain weighs about three pounds, while a sperm whale’s brain for example weighs about 17 pounds. If size really mattered in regards to brain power, sperm whales would be much more intelligent than we as humans.
Simply not the case at all.

3. The Human Brain is the Biggest Relative to Body Size

This myth has been around forever, and it continues to be a popular one to throw around during conversation. Aristotle was the first to record that out of all the animals he studied, the human brain was the largest relative to physical body size.
While this makes sense at first, we know now that the human brain-to-body ratio is actually comparable to other animals.
Right now, our ratio is about 1/40. That ratio is huge is when compared to that of an elephant’s, which is around 1/560, but when compared to a mouse, it’s actually about the same. If you’re going to compare the human body-to-brain ratio to that of a birds, it’s significantly less. The ratio for most birds is about 1/12.
source and courtesy: dailyvibes.org
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