Even old jokes can have a scientific basis in fact.
You know the one about the tourist who stops a native New Yorker on the street and asks, “Excuse me sir, but how do you get to Carnegie Hall?”
"Practice, practice, practice."
That New Yorker is absolutely correct. Scientists have found that the brains of professional musicians are physiologically different from the brains of other people, and they got that way mostly because of practice, practice, practice.
Think you only use 10 percent of your brain? Are you a right-brained or left-brained thinker?
Check out this edition of AsapSCIENCE to break free from the 7 Myths About the Brain You Thought Were True. And read more about the latest advances in neuroscience here.
Cochlear implants are powerful tools for people with hearing loss. Using electrodes implanted in the ear that transmit sound directly to the brain, they can give even the profoundly deaf a sense of sound.
But their success often depends on how early the implants are placed. People who are born deaf and receive implants as adults have worse outcomes than those who are fitted with the implants as children, said Andrea Warner-Czyz, an audiologist at the University of Texas at Dallas who studies development in children with hearing loss.
This is at least partly because as people with hearing loss grow older, the parts of their brain that are normally used to process sounds are reassigned to other jobs, such as visual processing. Once these reassignments occur, it is difficult to re-train them to do anything else.