I Use More Than 10% of My Brain!

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I stumbled upon something refuting the ridiculous myth that we use only 10% of our brains, with even some discussion on how such a stupid idea ever got started. Of course it never seemed so stupid to me when I kept hearing people parrot it around with no basis for their claim other than that some other misinformed person who never checked on it had first told it to them.

15 Comments

i want to use more of my brain but then i relised thet us just using ten percent of our brain is not right if this was true and we could find a way to use the hole of our brain we would be far more advanced today

its not a myth, its a fact that we only use 10% of our brains

Ben, are you going to bother to address the arguments given at the site I linked to?

The snopes site lists the 10% claim as an urban legend:

http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/10percnt.htm

Who cares? I mean come on, really, why does it matter that much? If it's true then yeah we could be a whole lot more advanced if we learnt to use more of it (if it were possible...), if it isn't true then there's nothing to be done about it but tell people that's it's not true, thus making it a waste of time.

The main thing that really matters is if someone wanted to become more knowledgable then they would have to work at it and be committed and learn more things, rather than look for ways that they can use the rest of their brain as we don't even know the real answer and there's no easy way to prove it, sure we can monitor brain activity, but we don't know with absolut certainity (altough we think we do sometimes) that the parts of the brain which appear doormant or inactive are indeed doormant or inactive, they could actually be running functions which are vital to it's funtioning but we just can't detect it for one reason or another.

"Who cares?" Well Skisy, I think your comment is exactly why we should care about the false claim that we humans only use 10% of our brains. It is false there is no "if" about it.

A simple lay study of brain function (as in google "brain function" or "cerebral cortex" and visit the first couple of links that come up) casts serious doubt on the claim but people continue to believe it or at least want it to be true. It prevents them from fully understanding what little we really do know about the human brain and a great many of the things that we suspect based on that knowledge but as yet are unable to prove.

We use 12% of our brain, the back of ur brain is childhood memory and a big part. You'll find ur self tapping in to in sometimes but if u could have a unbreakable bridge to it u would remember ur whole life from birth. But the reason we only use 12% of the brain is because were not computers. Anymore would overwelm and over work the brain. There are people who can use more than 12% but there lucky but will have certain problems later in the drain of the brain.

I don't know what an ur-brain is or how it interacts with the ur-self, whatever that is, but we use all of the actual brain. Neuroscience has shown this. Even if we don't use all of it for everything at every given time, no part of the brain just sits there unused. But for many mental functions, the entirety of the brain is involved. Very specific cognitive abilities may involve concentrated use of certain components, but the brain as a whole is involved in almost anything genuinely mental.

The link seems to be broken, so I can't see SciAm's speculation on how the myth arose, but I would conjecture that the reason for asserting this so strongly as fact is the hope (perhaps justified, perhaps not) that humans have a great deal more potential than is currently used, and then (as "nick" suggests) the trick is just finding a way to "tap into" that stored potential. It may also be a way of justifying disparity in intelligence (e.g. the geniuses have simply found a way to tap into their full potential or more of it).

You must admit, though, that it is quite the pervasive little myth. The brain is so mysterious to some people, and like many things that people don't understand (or even try to comprehend), fantastical things can be ascribed to those objects. Quick example: My current vocation is in technical support, and I frequently use screen sharing software to connect remotely to other PCs for troubleshooting. It is common for end users to feel some disorientation at this ("Is that you moving my mouse?"), but occasionally, a less technologically literate person will actually ask if I can see them, á la the telescreens of Orwell's 1984. The idea is absurd if you think reasonably about it, like the 10% brain myth, but people find technology and neurology so mysterious and intricate that it treat it like magic. It's a very interesting psychology.

The snopes link in one of the comments above has some of the historical information you're interested in.

i feel that all the persons who say"who cares" are having a laid back attitude and takin their brains for granted!!
Dont u people think that start using more of our brains we may all discover our talents and the reason why we were born in this earth!!
what prupose are we to accomplish!!
we can even do better in life if we start to use more of our brains!!
its not only albert enistien who can use soo much of his brain!!
even he is human rite !!
then why cant we !!
i feel that brain is a part of our body !!and since it belongs to us
and we must have a complete rite to know how to use 100% of it forget 10%!!
just imagine!
"im talkin about imagination cuz its only imagination through which we can we think of accomplishing our tasks !!
for those of u guyz u have the attitude who cares!!
what harm does it do you to atleast know how to use 100% of our brains huh!??
dont u guyz think if we could use our brain to its full potential we would be living in a much much better enviroment rite now !!
there would be no global warming !!
no ice age !!
no water shortage !!
dont u think !!


Since the link in the original post is dead, I wanted something else besides snopes.com to direct people to. A good starting point is here, and at the bottom of the page there's a list of references, a number of them links to online resources.

To the person who just left a comment: If you want your comment to appear, don't act like a jerk. If there's an argument worth responding to, I will enable it and respond in the absence of such nastiness. Include the nastiness, and I'm likely to leave the comment unapproved, as I have done in this case.

actually we do only use 10% of our brain. its why stroke victims can learn to talk/walk/use paralized limbs again, what happens is parts of there unused brain begins to be wired for the uses that were damaged during the stroke. lets say you loose the ability to talk because of a stroke. over time, with extreme mental focus and practice, you can regain that ability. also, the rest of our brain becomes active in the dream state. it is why we are able to dream and imagine things. therefore the 90% of unused brain can be said to be our sub-concious brain.

No, we use our entire brain for a number of things, including memory. Even things that are usually focused in one region can be rerouted, but that doesn't mean most of our brain is just sitting there unused.

Besides, you pretty much admitted that we use our whole brain. If we use our whole brain when dreaming, then we don't use only 10% of our brain. If we use our whole brain for subconscious functions, then we use our whole brain.

god gave us the ability to learn from our enviroment, making complicated brain functions, complicated thoughts, complicated people, complicaed brains. we use 100%, because, we started from somwhere, and now we only use 10%? no, in the world today, society underwent the global phenomenon known as inborn intelligance, lol, meaning people think they know everything already because someone else took he time to figure it out. bahahaa. you must learn it for yourself, it makes you use your entire brain.

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