Neuromyths are strongly held misunderstandings about the brain.  They generally emerge from generalisations or distortions of the scientific data and are frequently proliferated in the media.  So, while there may be a nugget of truth at their core, they can lead to misinterpretations, wasted time, effort and money. Worse still, in the case of neuromyths about neurodiversities, they have been shown to increase stigma. One of the aims of ANA is to challenge neuromyths when they arise and help increase evidence-based understanding of the brain.

We only use 10% of our brains

This myth is so deeply rooted in popular culture, that even became the basis of the movie Lucy (2014).


The Learning Styles Educational Myth

Teachers have been advised for decades to personalise their teaching, taking into consideration the learning style of each student. For example, the VARK classification categorised individuals as one or more of Visual, Auditory, Read-Write and Kinesthetic learners. 

Despite the lack of evidence to support this claim, this neuromyth persists.

Left-Brain & Right-Brain

According to this myth, we all have a dominant hemisphere (side) of the brain.  If you are logical and good with numbers then you would be Left-brained. If instead you are more creative and artistic, then you would be right-brained.

Despite the differences, there seems like there isn’t a hemisphere dominance.


Classical Music expands Learning Capacity

The “Mozart effect” is the common belief that classical music has a beneficial effect upon young minds. This myth was born after a claim that students showed a significant rise in scores after listening the Mozart sonata. These results were not reproduced by other researchers and therefore has been debunked.

For more information about Neuromyths and their impact on Stigma in Education, take a look at the brilliant work being done by the Centre for Educational Neuroscience.

Neuro-hit or neuro-myth?