10 Common Myths About the Brain that Just Aren’t True

February 4, 2017 5:57 pm  |  Comments: 0  | Views: 91415

Myth #10: Your Brain Is Gray.

Most of us have all seen preserved brains sitting in jars in a classroom or on TV. Often, those brains are a uniform whitish gray, sometimes yellow-ish color. However, in actuality, the living and pulsing brain that currently resides in your skull isn't just a dull, bland gray—but it's also white, black and red.

Like many myths about the brain, this one has a grain of truth, because much of the brain is gray, which is why the brain is often referred to as gray matter. Gray matter consists of cells and neurons and exists all throughout the various parts of the brain. However, the brain also contains white matter, which comprises nerve fibers that connect the gray matter.

The black component is called substantia nigra. It's black because of neuromelanin, a specialized type of the same pigment that colors skin and hair, and it's a part of the basal ganglia. Finally, we have red -- and that's thanks to the many blood vessels in the brain.

So why are preserved brains chalky looking and dull instead of spongy and colorful? It's due to the fixatives, such as formaldehyde, that keep the brain preserved.

From color, to sound -- the next myth may have you rethinking your musical choices.

Sources: HowStuffWorks, Business Insider

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