The B-Spot Myths: 4 Brain Facts and Fiction
Brain Myth #1: Specific personalities and traits are either right-brain or left-brain.
Fact: Both hemispheres are intricately interconnected, and information is constantly shared with every activity we perform. As adults we need both sides, and there are certain brain-entrainment strategies that appear to enhance hemispheric dialogue.
In reality, each person has unique areas of the brain that can play a dominant role. Thus, one person will have a talent for music, another for math. Some people have brains that allow them to excel in sports, while others will be gifted in language. Your brain can “choose” with various types of stimulation to create greater neural coherence between both hemispheres and specific regions of the cortex.
For each area that we are strong in, there will be an area in which we are weak. But if one area is damaged, our brains can compensate in amazing ways. For example: a blind person can use the tongue to actually “see” an object with the aid of a computer-driven device. Under special circumstances, stimulation to the tongue will activate the visual cortex of the brain.
Brain Myth #2: The brain slows down with age.
Fact: Actually, neuroplasticity increases. Lower stress, which is one of the key culprits associated with neurogenerative disease. When too much information comes in it creates confusion and anxiety.
What works best for slowing down the aging processes of the brain? Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and engage in intense intellectual and social stimulation. Have as many friends as possible. Build strong family ties. Engage in meaningful work and philanthropy. Be steadfastly optimistic, no matter what. Like physical exercise “mental exercise” give you more conscious control over nonconscious neural processes.
Brain Myth #3: You only use 10 percent of your brain.
Fact: Did you know we are born with 200 billion neurons, but adults only have half? Where did the other half go? They “died off” in childhood when certain perceptions stored in particular neurons are replaced by neural networks that have value and meaning in our lives. Over a 24 hour period, you use your entire brain. Some parts are resting, while others are active, but if neurons are not activated, they die off.
Brain Myth #5: EEG Readings Predict Improvements in Health
Fact: Possibly. In the 1980s and 90s, considerable attention was given to EEG readings that record faint electrical activity along the outermost surface of the brain. Different behaviors and different ways of thinking will generate different brainwave frequencies (delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma) in different parts of the brain. New brain-probing technology has questioned the early models by showing how different parts of the brain simultaneously generate different frequencies. In additions, these frequencies change from moment to moment, even when the same task is being performed. This means that we know less about what brainwave frequencies mean and we cannot say that one frequency creates a specific state of alertness, relaxation, or mental improvement.
Biofeedback and neuro feedback devices have shown that we can consciously alter the brainwave frequencies in some parts of the brain so a person can experience improvements in behavior, cognition, and emotional regulation could be made. The research remained controversial because there was no agreement about which frequency would bring about the desired changes.