Neuromyths: The 10 Top Misconceptions about your Brain

Thomas Moran
Feb 5, 2019 · 9 min read

(And How You Can Use Them to Your Advantage)

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Image Credit: Syd Mead

Definition

Neuromyth — A commonly-held false belief about how the mind and brain function.

Introduction

Once these myths take hold in the public consciousness, it’s often difficult for people to separate brain facts from fiction.

Separating Fact from Fiction

Let’s examine some of these myths more deeply.

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The Myth List

1. Left Brain vs Right Brain

Some of us are ‘left-brained’ and some are ‘right-brained,’ and this helps explain differences in how we learn.

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Image Credit: Wellness 360

2. We only use 10% of our brains.

3. Learning styles

A common myth in the field of education is that individuals have different learning styles, such as ‘visual’ or ‘kinesthetic’.

There may even be harms associated with the use of learning styles, wherein learners become ‘pigeonholed’, perceiving that they may not be suited to types of learning that are not matched to their ‘learning style’.

4. Critical Periods

Brain development has finished by the time children reach puberty.

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This is the belief that the brain is plastic only during certain “critical periods”, and therefore learning must occur during these periods.

5. Synaptogenesis Theory

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Image Credit: EPR

Learning is due to the addition of new cells to the brain.

6. A common sign of dyslexia is seeing letters backward.

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7. Mental capacity is something you are born with and cannot be changed.

The most widely accepted conclusion of current research in neuroscience is that of neuroplasticity: Our brains grow, change, and adapt at all times in our lives.

8. When we sleep, the brain shuts down.

9. Listening to classical music increases children’s reasoning ability.

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10. Multitasking

“I’m just good at multi-tasking”.

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Image Credit: ProvideSupport.com

We pay continuous partial attention in an effort not to miss anything. It is an always-on, anywhere, anytime, anyplace behaviour that involves an artificial sense of constant crisis.

Why We Believe

According to research done by Macdonald et al. the general public believed 68% of these common neuromyths, educators endorsed 56%, and even respondents with neuroscience training believed 46% .

What Does Work?

Why it matters: Accelerated Learning

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Thomas Moran

Written by

Full Stack Engineer, Blockchain and AI Enthusiast, Lifelong Learner, Founder at http://optimizme.com & http://immunoblock.com/

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +717K people. Follow to join our community.

Thomas Moran

Written by

Full Stack Engineer, Blockchain and AI Enthusiast, Lifelong Learner, Founder at http://optimizme.com & http://immunoblock.com/

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +717K people. Follow to join our community.

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