Last night I took to the cinema to see the recently released action movie “Lucy”. I was well aware of the glaring falsity that made up the premise of the plot–the fictitious idea that we only use 10% of our brains at any one time–before even entering the cinema, but had convinced myself I could ignore this little annoyance and enjoy the action, acting and directing in and of itself.
And in fact I was enjoying it all for quite a bit. Scarlett Johansson (as Lucy) was as wonderful as ever, the music was great, the special effects were very cool, all was going well…
Until, Morgan Freeman.
Playing a college academic, Freeman utterly and unconditionally betrayed my faith in him as Hollywoods’ emblem of wisdom, insight, goodness and understanding. Somehow the words “imagine what we could do if we unlocked the full potential of our brains” were all the more excruciating when emanating from the knowing, dulcet timbre of Freeman’s voice.
For those of you who have watched or are planning to watch the movie, I urge you too to take caution, do not be fooled by Freeman’s worldly tones and sagacious presence, just concentrate on those special effects, the action, the direction and Johanssons abilty to kick-ass
In an age where a 140 character message can spread around the world like the wildest of wildfires or a pizza-slice can transform into a bikini model with the artistic flare of a photo-shop engineer, we should be adept at closing our ears to hearsay and tattle and all sorts of false truths. Every now and then however the intuitive appeal of certain ideas tend to seep through even the most stringent of BS filters, making their way into a common garden of popular misconceptions.
One such idea is the weed of a notion that one side of our brain is more functionally dominant than the other resulting in individual differences in traits such as creativity, analytic ability or orderliness.
With Facebook statuses sharing results from BuzzFeed brain-dominance tests, professional write-ups detailing the personality traits of those who use one hemisphere of their brain more so than the other, even guidance counsellors basing career recommendations on tests of brain-sidedness, this myth just wont die.
To slice the ever-growing misconception at its stem, it is simply not true that one side of the brain does reason and analytical thinking and the other emotion and creativity. Simply not true. It is not true that the left-hemisphere is 100% responsible for language, or that the right-hemisphere is entirely in charge of creative thought.