Is it true we use ten percent of our brain?
It’s time to debunk a long-standing myth.
You have likely heard that we only use 10 percent of our brain. In fact, you may have even heard the quote: “Even Einstein used 5%. Some people could work all their lives and only increase it to 4%.”
First and foremost, it’s important to clarify where such a myth came from.
Some people believe that the 10 percent myth originated in the early 1900s. A neuroscientist named Karl Lashley carried out experiments on rats, removing portions of their brains. He discovered that he could damage parts of the rats’ cerebral cortex while the animals carried out the task he prescribed them without faltering.
Another potential origin of the myth declares that the journalist Lowell Thomas spread the information in his preface to Dale Carnegie’s self-help book “Win Friends and Influence People.”
Thomas based his claim on the “Theory of Reserved Energy” written by William James who conducted research at Harvard University’s psychology department in the 1980s. However, Thomas allegedly misquoted James’ claim that the average person “develops only 10% of his latent mental ability.”
The myth continued over the years, fed by more studies on the brain. For instance, Wilder Penfield’s discovery of the “silent cortex” in the 1930s asserted that some parts of our brain appeared to have no clear function when stimulated by electricity.
In modern popular culture, the myth is further enforced by movies such as “Lucy,” starring Morgan Freeman and Scarlett Johansson, which claimed that the human brain can only use a maximum of 10 percent.
However, geneticists are now saying that if the rest of our organs do not become dysfunctional over time, why should our brain be the exception to the rule?
New sources have proven that we, in fact, use 100 percent of our brain. Rather more inspirational than a measly 10 percent.
Proof that minor brain damage can cause diseases affecting the entire body demonstrates just how important our whole-brain function is. We need our brain to work as a whole in order for our body to remain healthy. If this isn’t proof enough that we use our entire brains, we’re not sure what it.