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BrainFacts.org

A PUBLIC INFORMATION
INITIATIVE OF:

  • Kavli
  • Gatsby
  • SfN

False facts repeated often are tough to correct. Some misconceptions about the brain persist in the classroom and the home. Read on to find out the truth behind common brain myths.

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Myth: People are either “right-brained” or “left-brained.”

Source: Society for Neuroscience
Regardless of personality or skill set, you use both the right and left hemispheres of your brain to perform everyday functions.

Myth: Drug use makes holes in your brain.

Source: Society for Neuroscience
Only physical trauma can create a hole in your brain.

Myth: Drinking alcoholic drinks always kills brain cells.

Source: Society for Neuroscience
Moderate amounts of alcohol do not kill brain cells.

Myth: Vaccines cause autism.

Source: Society for Neuroscience
There has been no conclusive, scientific evidence that any part of a vaccine causes autism.

Myth: Listening to classical music makes you smarter.

Source: Society for Neuroscience

Listening to classical music hasn’t been shown to improve intelligence in children or adults.


Myth: Your brain can’t make new cells.

Source: Society for Neuroscience
Your brain constantly generates new cells and remains adaptable — or “plastic” — as you age.

Myth: Playing games keeps your brain young.

Source: Society for Neuroscience
Crossword puzzles and similar games can help you learn words and improve specific skills, but they won’t enhance overall brain function.

Myth: You only use 10 percent of your brain.

Source: Society for Neuroscience
You use all of your brain.

Myth: Brain damage is always permanent.

Source: Society for Neuroscience
In some instances, the brain can repair itself.