Why people don’t understand brain facts
A study from Harvard University shows that many people, even when they know about the brain, are unaware of its capabilities.
The study, published in Science Advances, analyzed 1,200 people and found that about half were unaware of the cognitive and social benefits of the brain.
“It’s not that we didn’t know that the brain was important; it’s that we did not know it was important,” study co-author and neuroscientist Mark Hyman said in a statement.
“In this context, ‘understanding’ is the right word.”
In the study, the researchers surveyed 2,000 people, including 1,700 Americans.
In a separate experiment, they tested 442 people who were unaware that the brains of people with autism were different from the brains in people without autism.
“Our finding shows that the average American is not aware that brain science is as complex as it is,” Hyman added.
“The average American may be aware that the cognitive benefits of autism are real, but he is unaware that brain scientists are working to understand the neurobiological basis of autism.”
The study was conducted with a sample of people between the ages of 19 and 35.
The authors say they plan to conduct more studies to understand why people are so unaware.