For your daily dose of myths neuromyths-debunking!

If you want some of the better stories on neurology, do check the blogposts by Neuroskeptic. He (or she) just moved his (or her) blog to discovermagazine and every post is worth reading!

Take this post on PRISM Brain Mapping, “a sophisticated, online, neuroscience-based instrumentspecifically designed to identify the behavioural preferences that directly relate to personal relationships and work performance… It is about enabling people with no neuroscientific background to understand and use some of the latest discoveries of brain science in their personal and business lives.” Well, read the post by Neuroskeptic to know it’s just plainly wrong.

Brains are always a good idea for myths, and Psychology Today is a great second source for some mythbusting. Take for instance some myths on lefties, are they really more creative yet doomed to die early?

But wait, what about IQ, this surely can’t be a myth? Well, this interesting research published in Neuron sheds some reasonable doubts. Instead of one general figure, the researchers see three elements: verbal abilities, reasoning abilities and short-term memory abilities.

Some nice to know elements that the Star took from this research:

  • While aging has a detrimental effect on reasoning and short-term memory, it leaves verbal abilities “completely unimpaired.”
  • Smoking has a negative impact on verbal abilities and short-term memory but does not affect reasoning skills.
  • People who play video games performed “significantly better” in terms of both reasoning and short-term memory.
  • Products that are advertised to improve brain function aren’t effective. (but this we knew already of course)

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