Neuromyths Concerning the Left and the Right Brain
“I’m right-brained, which makes me more creative”
“We only use 10% of our brain”
“We all need eight hours of sleep to function”
“I’ve got an evil spirit in my brain, so let’s drill a hole in there and let it out”
There have been superstitions and myths around the brain ever since humans first worked out what was inside their skulls. Some myths seem plausible, and others… less so.
Believable or not, author Christian Jarrett catalogued these beliefs in his book “The Great Myths of the Brain”. We spoke with Christian and with researchers at last year’s British Neuroscience Association Christmas Symposium, asking what they thought about neuromyths, the public’s perception of science, and how scientists can better reach the public with myth-busting evidence.
Professor Chris McManus, University College London, highlights some of the classic left and right neuromyths and explains why they are so popular.