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Home   >>  News  >>   Five Truths about Our Brains you Never Know


Five Truths about Our Brains you Never Know

Truth 1: The brain might not be as complicated as we think.

"Most people think of the brain as very complex, but I think we're just ignorant. It could be very simple," Expert says. "The idea has permeated that there's something magic inside the brain, but really it's just a firing of neurons."

Truth 2: Human brains probably aren't that different from other brains.

Think human brains are far more sophisticated than those of the rest of the animal kingdom? Think again. Our brains probably aren't that different from that of a fly or a mouse, the expert says.

Twenty years ago, for instance, we didn't know that much about how the human body developed -- as we've learned more, we've discovered that our genes aren't that different from flies. "Nature, at the end of the day, is using the same tricks across evolution," expert says. "The brain is robust, it cannot be too complicated."

Truth 3: We don't use only 10 percent of our brains.

"Every part of our brain is always active all the time," expert says. The brain is comprised of tens of millions of neurons that are always firing (meaning the oft-repeated "fact" that we only use 10 percent of our brains isn't true). "Some people think the brain is like a computer," the expert says, where it sits there doing nothing until you stimulate it.

In reality, the brain is always going, even when we're sleeping. "It has a life of its own," Expert says.

Truth 4: The argument for a brain-mapping initiative isn't that different from the Human Genome Project.

We recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project. But it wasn't that long ago that people never would have thought such a lofty goal was even possible.

Sperts see a parallel to the brain-mapping initiative: Detractors argue that it's impossible to collect the data, and even if you could collect it, no one could ever understand it. They ask: Will it work? And will it be worth it?

Expert firmly believes the answer is yes. "Society has so many problems that science cannot afford to dream small dreams," the expert said during his TEDMED presentation.

Truth 5: No one understands how the brain works.

"I can guarantee you that we don't have a clue," expert says. At least not yet.