The Belief That We Use Only 10% of Our Brains Is a Myth
By Sarah Thomas | July 22, 2014 11:57 AM EST
We have learned since we were young that we use only 10 per cent of our brain, leaving so much of the brain's capacities unexplored. While the concept seemed fascinating, it also left people wondering about the reasons for the non utilisation of the remaining 90 per cent, simultaneously opening new possibilities within the minds of several about the things man could do if he used his brain's capacity completely. This belief triggered several creative ideas in film makers, resulting in remarkable sci-fi movies, and at the same time, it re emphasised the long-held belief among moviegoers.
A boy who was addicted to the internet, has his brain scanned for research purposes at Daxing Internet Addiction Treatment Center in Beijing February 22, 2014. As growing numbers of young people in China immerse themselves in the cyber world, spending hours playing games online, worried parents are increasingly turning to boot camps to crush addiction. Military-style boot camps, designed to wean young people off their addiction to the internet, number as many as 250 in China alone. Picture taken February 22, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (CHINA - Tags: SOCIETY) ATTENTION EDITORS - PICTURE 21 OF 33 FOR PACKAGE 'CURING CHINA'S INTERNET ADDICTS' TO FIND ALL IMAGES SEARCH 'INTERNET BOOT CAMP'
A survey conducted in 2013 by Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research further confirmed that the "10 percent" myth is still widely held. The poll revealed that 65 per cent of Americans are certain that human beings used only 10 per cent of our brains - 5 per cent more than belief in evolution.
However, Barbara Sahakian, a professor of clinical neuropsychology at the University of Cambridge, mocked at the idea of man using only a fraction of his brain. She stated that "doesn't make any sense."
She explained that this wrong idea began circulating through Dale Carnegie's popular book How to Win Friends and Influence People in 1936. She also said that the 10 per cent figure that people held on to was artificial. Carnegie just used the figure to support a point he had made in the book.
She sought another explanation to this widely spread false perception about the working of the brain, stating that according to neuroscientists, the brain contains 90 per cent support cells called glial cells that provide nutrients to the other 10 per cent which are neurons. Thoughts are produced by the neurons, the grey matter, and hence this belief could have emerged.
Sahakian further explained that smart drugs can help improve people's cognitive ability. They can help enhance a person's alertness, attention, memory and other cognitive abilities. "In the future, we will have drugs that can produce even greater enhancements with no, or low, side effects. It is highly likely that at that time, smart drugs will be in common use," she said.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- The Pirate Bay Founder Gottfrid Svartholm Clears That Fredrik Neij And Peter Sunde Are Not TPB Founders
- ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5 Spoilers: Daryl Dixon Out There To Save His Two Favourite Ladies In Mid-season Finale
- [In Pictures] Police Fire As Protest Turns Into ‘Riot’ After Grand Jury Decision on Ferguson Shooting
- ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5, Episode 8 Spoilers: Daryl Dixon Is Set To Burn The Place Down in ‘Coda’
Join the Conversation
- Using Hand Dryers in Public Restrooms Could Spread Germs
- Text Neck Causes More Harm Than You Think
- Beating Postnatal Depression Is Just A Phone Call Away
- Seasonal Flu Kills Hundreds In New Zealand Every Year
- Girl Gives Free Testicle Exams On International Men’s Day For Charity, Simple Pickup Donates To Movember
- Russia Is Ready for Shooting War, Will Likely Win Looming Nuclear Showdown with U.S. – Report
- Kobani ISIS Fighter Sends Out Desperate Message For Prayers And Support: Euphoria Turns Into Desperation As Kurds Advance
- Chris Algieri’s Battered Face Trends On Social Media
- Home Depot Early Black Friday 2014 Sale Up To Nov. 29, 2014 Includes Special Buys On Appliances Such As Samsung Refrigerators, Whirlpool Electric Ranges And Hoover Vacuum Cleaners
- Microsoft Band Runs Out Of Stock, But Offers $10 Gift Voucher To Wait-Listed Customers
- Black Friday Sale 2014 Deals From Amazon On Smartphones, TVs, Headsets And More
- Andrew Robb Asks Obama Not to ‘Lecture’ Australia on Climate Change