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Monday, December 10, 2007

Myth Busting Monday - Brains

Humans use only 10 percent of their brains

I have often thought about whether or not this one is true. My thought process as been if we only use 10% of our brain what is other the 90% of our brain for? This first quote shows how easy it is to believe that myths like this one is true.

That tired Ten-Percent claim pops up all the time. Last year [1998], national magazine ads for U.S. Satellite Broadcasting showed a drawing of a brain. Under it was the caption, "You only use 11 percent of its potential." Well, they're a little closer than the ten-percent figure, but still off by about 89 percent. In July 1998, ABC television ran promotional spots for "The Secret Lives of Men," one of their offerings for the fall season's lineup. The spot featured a full-screen blurb that read, "Men only use ten percent of their brains."[source]
Thanks to modern technology, scientists have been able to prove that this myth is undeniably false.

This media darling has been around for at least a century. Fortunately, it's just not true. MRI imaging clearly demonstrates--with fancy colors no less--that humans put most of their cerebral cortex [the brain] to good use, even while dozing.[source]

I was able to find a statement that atempts to justify what people are talking about when they say 'we only use 10% of our brain'
Perhaps when people use the 10% brain statement, they mean that only one out of every ten nerve cells is essential or used at any one time? How would such a measurement be made? Even if neurons are not firing action potentials, they may still be receiving signals from other neurons.[soucre]
I know there are some of you out there that think you know someone who proves this myth to be true, but remember just because someone can use most of their brain it doesn't mean that take advantage of it. I know I have moments when I only use 10% of my brain, but my wife quickly knocks some sense reminds me to use more of my brain.

What are your thoughts about this myth, let us know in the comments.

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