Great Myths of the Brain introduces readers to the field of neuroscience by examining popular myths about the human brain.
Explores commonly-held myths of the brain through the lens of scientific research, backing up claims with studies and other evidence from the literature
Looks at enduring myths such as Do we only use 10% of our brain? , Pregnant women lose their mind , Right-brained people are more creative and many more.
Delves into myths relating to specific brain disorders, including epilepsy, autism, dementia, and others
Written engagingly and accessibly for students and lay readers alike, providing a unique introduction to the study of the brain
Teaches readers how to spot neuro hype and neuro-nonsense claims in the media
Christian Jarrett has a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Manchester. He is editor of the British Psychological Society s Research Digest; author of the Brain Watch blog for WIRED; a blogger for Psychology Today; and columnist for 99U, the New York-based creativity think tank. Dr. Jarrett is also the author of The Rough Guide to Psychology (2011) and editor of 30 Second Psychology (Icon Books)
Acknowledgments xii Introduction 1 1 Defunct Myths 15 #1 Thought Resides in the Heart 15 #2 The Brain Pumps Animal Spirits Round the Body 18 #3 Brain Cells Join Together Forming a Huge Nerve Net 21 #4 Mental Function Resides in the Brain s Hollows 22 2 Myth-Based Brain Practices 25 #5 Drilling a Hole in the Skull Releases Evil Spirits 25 #6 Personality Can Be Read in the Bumps on the Skull 28 #7 Mental Illness Can Be Cured by Disconnecting the Frontal Lobes 30 3 Mythical Case Studies 37 #8 Brain Injury Turned Neuroscience s Most Famous Case into an Impulsive Brute 37 #9 The Faculty of Language Production Is Distributed Through the Brain 40 #10 Memory Is Distributed Throughout the Entire Cortex 45 4 The Immortal Myths 51 #11 We Only Use Ten Percent of Our Brains 51 #12 Right-Brained People Are More Creative 55 #13 The Female Brain Is More Balanced (and Other Gender-Based Brain Myths) 65 #14 Adults Can t Grow New Brain Cells 74 #15 There s a God Spot in the Brain (and Other Lesser-Spotted Myths) 80 #16 Pregnant Women Lose Their Minds 87 #17 We All Need Eight Hours of Continuous Sleep (and Other Dozy Sleep Myths) 92 #18 The Brain Is a Computer 101 #19 The Mind Can Exist Outside of the Brain 106 #20 Neuroscience Is Transforming Human Self-Understanding 115 5 Myths about the Physical Structure of the Brain 135 #21 The Brain Is Well Designed 135 #22 The Bigger the Brain, the Better 140 #23 You Have a Grandmother Cell 146 #24 Glial Cells Are Little More Than Brain Glue 149 #25 Mirror Neurons Make Us Human (and Broken Mirror Neurons Cause Autism) 154 #26 The Disembodied Brain 160 6 Technology and Food Myths 177 #27 Brain Scans Can Read Your Mind 177 #28 Neurofeedback Will Bring You Bliss and Enlightenment 192 #29 Brain Training Will Make You Smart 201 #30 Brain Food Will Make You Even Smarter 209 #31 Google Will Make You Stupid, Mad, or Both 217 7 Brain Myths Concerning Perception and Action 235 #32 The Brain Receives Information from Five Separate Senses 235 #33 The Brain Perceives the World As It Is 242 #34 The Brain s Representation of the Body Is Accurate and Stable 249 8 Myths about Brain Disorder and Illness 258 #35 Brain Injury and Concussion Myths 258 #36 Amnesia Myths 265 #37 Coma Myths 273 #38 Epilepsy Myths 280 #39 Autism Myths 286 #40 Dementia Myths 294 #41 The Chemical Imbalance Myth of Mental Illness 300 Afterword 316 Index 318