Introduction and Dispelling Myths
Updated: Jul 19, 2019
Hey, it's me, Melinda!
Another blog site to follow, how original. Am I right? If you're like me, that's probably what you're thinking. And it's true. Everyone's got a blog. So why should you follow this one? You might even ask me:
-Is it better than everyone else's?
-No, I'd say.
-Are you more famous than all of the other bloggers?
-No, I'd say again, already self-conscious that I'm not differing my answers enough and it's only my first blog post and I know I need to win you over quicker than this and now you see how I think in run-on sentences when I get nervous about being liked ok moving on.
-Is the content even going to be interesting?
-Well, jeez, not-yet-existent reader, that question was a little pointed. I think the content will be interesting, or I wouldn't write it.
-So, what the hell can you even offer us, the readers?
-I'm glad you asked, I'd say warmly.
With a strong background in science and an utter love for fiction, I can promise you stories and blog posts about REAL science. Science is what makes my heart beat (well, all of our hearts beat, if you want to get technical and ohemgee I always do). Sure, there will be lots of fiction involved but when it comes to the science I will remain as true as possible. I am writing a science fiction novel based on what current neuroscience tells me our future could be like! Sure, fiction forces me to take some small liberties but I try my best to operate within the bounds of reality. There will be no myths about the human brain here.
While we're on the subject, I'd like to clear something up. Something that is spread throughout Hollywood movies and popular culture. And let me tell you what. Every time a neuroscientist hears this, an angel dies a harrowing death of disembowlment. Yes, that's an overdramatic word. I said that I'd remain true to science. I said nothing about leaving the drama at the door.
Anyway, back to the fake fact. Raise your hand if you've ever heard that we only use 10% of our brains. Judging by all those hands (I see you in the back, there, Karen), 99% of you have heard this. Please, for the love of God, this is false so tell all your friends.
Naturally, this will lead you to ask: Well, then, Melinda, if you're so smart, what percentage of the brain do we use, exactly? And I'd say... well, actually first I'd congratulate you on the proper use of no less than 5 commas in 1 sentence. Then I'd say 100 goddamn percent! 100%.
Neurons are expensive. They are the trophy wives of the body. They ain't cheap. They require more energy to maintain than any other organ. And in return, we get big, sexy brains to tote around in our heads. So, why would nature keep 90% of an energetically expensive organ around that we weren't going to use? It makes no sense. I mean, all the folds (gyri) in the brain are there simply because the brain would be the size of a beach ball if the cortex were all smoothed out. And I won't even get started with how that would destroy vaginas everywhere in the birthing process. Although, I guess I kind of did start. Anyway, the point is that we have these big, beautiful brains for a reason.
Now, of course, we don't use the entire thing all the time. We would all die from seizures if the entire brain was ever activated all together. Seizures result from runaway excitation taking over the brain. Luckily, we have inhibitory brain cells that dampen the signal like brakes, keeping excitation in check. But all parts of the brain have a purpose and all parts of the brain are used.
And no, kids, doing drugs does not make your brain look like a fried egg.*
Nice to have you here! Hope you enjoy the site!
Your average neuroscientist, Melinda
*Melinda does not condone drug use.
Also, here's a link to a nice Scientific American article explaining the origins of the 10% myth: