How Much Of Our Brain Do We Use?


OK! Before we dig into the answers, let’s look at the most misrepresented facts that have led to the conjuring of the popular figure (10%) to indicate the brain performance. First of all, you have underrated your brain a lot by quoting a figure of 10 percent to do countless things in your life. Now, figuratively believing that you have used just 10 percent that is still nowhere close to answering how we have managed to make such fantabulous technical advances in the face of history. So, fact or fiction? Your answer is the 10 percent is a certain myth. So, if you are among countless many who are curiously asking how much of our brain do we use, you will need to read ahead to know.

How Much Of Our Brain Do We Use?

Do We Use Only 10% of Our Brains?

Here is the answer from the scientific community. The answer is…

“There is no scientific evidence to suggest that we use only 10% of our brains.”

But wait, don’t scroll away yet! You will need to know how and why the answer to that question remains undefined.

So, let’s look back at the genesis of such a statement and also if there is any evidence that counts to back up that theory.

Backtracking The 10% Myth?

It all started with the famous physician Albert Einstein mentioning in 1908, the variant of the statement that was originally believed to be quoted in 1800’s by William James – “We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources”. Over the years, this misrepresented quote resonated back and forth among many people.

The 10 percent myth could have also been started by the work of Karl Lashley in 1920’s. The documentation revealed that Lashley had extracted large sections of Cerebral cortex in rats. He then learned that these pests showed a tendency to relearn certain tasks. We are now fully aware even the slightest damage to the brain tissue can lead to insurmountable consequences. Hence, most neurosurgeons wouldn’t risk a surgery on the brain without precision mapping of the critical areas. Brain mapping is conducted before the removal of even the smallest brain tissue among patients suffering from brain tumours and epilepsy

Why Does The Myth Cease To Die?

Ever since the myth was triggered at one point in history, it somehow remained stuck and continued to echo. Thanks to the media that made sure the myth just doesn’t fade out.  Soon, a trend began where without the demand for clarification or evidence the masses had accepted the notion that was fed to them.

Although, there has never been a scientifically backed data that indicated that the set percent of the brain was utilized at any point in time, many believers of this myth continue to think, if at all the brain were to be used at full potential (100%), then we would be capable of feats such as super memory and ability to contort objects with thought. However, the fact remains that such notions are too obsolete and impractical.

So What If We Used Just 10% of The Brain?

The more we dig into this discussion, more questions crop up. Such as, what test variables were relied upon to float the 10%, or if we would be perfectly normal if 90% of the brain went to sleep? An interesting way to sum up this is that, imagine if an average human brain that weights 1400g (3 lb) had 90% of the area removed. If that were the case, then we would be left with just 140g (0.3lb) of brain tissue (the average size of sheep’s brain).

The more prominent way to dismantle the 10 percent myth is to observe the aftermath of a stroke victim’s life. Even the slightest damage to the brain tissue will cause paralysis and arching of body parts. Also, some diseases like the Parkinson’s disease will also project identical disabilities due to damage of small section of the brain tissue. Remember, all these disabilities are due to a small section of the brain being affected. But, imagine what if 90% of the brain were to remain idle? Unthinkable. Isn’t it?

The Evidence

When people refer to 10 percent of the brain being utilized, it means just 1 of the ten nerves are in working capacity. Wouldn’t be impractical if just one of the ten nerves cells are firing the neurons?  Now considering such a scenario, it would be far too faint for such neurons to make any difference at all.

Also from an evolutionary standpoint it would be impossible for a larger brain o evolve if we were benefiting from just 10 percent of its potential.  Although, it is a fact that there are redundancies in our brain where there are common pathways for multiple functionalities. The brain has evolved in such a complex manner, that there are multiple pathways for similar functionality as well. It is to ensure they function in a failsafe manner where even if a path suffers disruptions the remaining pathways will continue to function.

The brain imagery shows that there is activity in all parts of the brain at any point in time. That also includes the time when a person is asleep. The fact we can reckon from all this compilation is that at any point in time brain will continue to remain active and functional beyond 10 percent.

So, now that you are aware what your brain is capable, you can certainly claim the brain is always working at full capacity.

So, say it loud “We use 100% of our brain power.”

Don’t be taken by the false notions that are depicted in the movies such as Lucy (2014). Hands down to the director for creating a movie with a brilliant screenplay. However, the facts are stretched too far to be real.

The brain is one of the most gifted and still the most twisted of all areas in the human body. More secrets unravel as the medical technology makes a leap. But, it is with upright clarity that the brain is functional at 100%.