We Know Less About the Brain Than We Think
One thing that surprises many people when they begin to learn more about how our brains work is that most of what we currently think we know about cognition is actually not scientific fact but scientific theory.
We don’t know how memory works, for example, in any real, factual sense. Plus, things we once took as facts are constantly being shown to be false, throwing much of our supposed knowledge straight out the window.
We are always learning new, illuminating things every year, and some of the things we know now were unknown for centuries. It wasn’t until the 1990’s, for example, that we were sure of the true function of the amygdala. Until 1975 no one knew that the brain was divided into three main sections.
The mysterious nature of the brain leads some researchers and doctors to be exceedingly cautious when prescribing therapies for enhancing or repairing cognition. The phrase “better safe than sorry” sums up this viewpoint very well.
However, being too cautious can eliminate some techniques that have a long history of value in holistic and non-traditional treatment. When an Eastern tradition like acupuncture shows results but cannot be easily explained by modern science, there’s no reason to avoid it!
Khalsa, Stauth (2001-01-01). Brain Longevity: The Breakthrough Medical Program that Improves Your Mind and Memory. Grand Central Publishing.