Knowledge about the brain has significantly increased in the last few years. Here are four myths about the brain and learning, each followed by a statement that reflects new findings.
1. You can’t change your brain.
The brain is constantly changing in response to thoughts and experiences. Changing our thinking and changing the way we behave induces changes in the brain.
2. We lose thousands of neurons every day.
Assuming that the brain remains healthy and disease free, the brain loses relatively few neurons with age.
3. The brain doesn’t make new brain cells.
Certain areas of the brain—such as the hippocampus and olfactory bulbs (the scent processing center)—regularly generate new neurons. And, as mentioned above, every time the brain experiences something different, new neurons are generated.
4. Memory decline is inevitable as we age.
Physical exercise, challenging and intellectually stimulating activities, nutritional diet, social connections, managing our view of the world and ourselves—all play a role in maintaining a healthy brain.
Practicing positivity, choice, and reflection all serve to keep the brain healthy.