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  • 2/3 of people in the United States

  • know that we only use 10% of our brain.

  • And by "know," I mean are crazy, horribly, mistaken.

  • Anthony here for D News, and according to a brain health

  • survey from the Michael J. Fox Foundation, 65% of Americans

  • think that we only use 10% of our brains on a daily basis.

  • It's definitely something I've heard in my life over,

  • over and over again.

  • Wait a minute.

  • Were those people insulting me?

  • Here's the deal.

  • That is false.

  • It is crazy false.

  • There's not a part of your brain that you do not use.

  • There is no dormant part with psychic abilities

  • or the potential to instantly memorize

  • anything you see hidden behind some cranial roadblock

  • up there.

  • The human brain is an incredibly complex organ.

  • And all its little bits are highly specialized,

  • some of them in ways that we are just beginning to understand.

  • The myth probably started through a misquote

  • of the findings of a study guide in the 1890s

  • by William James and Boris Sidis,

  • where they attempted to raise a child prodigy in a way that

  • would actually accelerate his intelligence.

  • After raising the kid to an IQ of 250,

  • James said people only meet a fraction

  • of their full mental potential.

  • He just meant we don't challenge ourselves enough mentally.

  • It's also possible that the myth came

  • from early neurological research in the 19th or 20th century.

  • As scientists started digging around in all those brains,

  • it seemed like there were bits that didn't change anything

  • if they were damaged or removed.

  • And now, we know that some areas just

  • have very subtle and specialized functions,

  • stuff you might not be able to tell is missing right away.

  • I mean, there's a part of our brain

  • that is just dedicated to making electrical sockets look

  • like faces.

  • We also know that the brain can rearrange and reassign

  • functions to a new part of itself

  • if an old one is damaged.

  • But it's easy to see how early data could

  • have made it seem otherwise.

  • We've got way better brain data now, thanks to stuff

  • like fMRIs and PET scans that can

  • show what the whole brain is up to at any time

  • down to these tiny electrodes that

  • can monitor the activity of a single cell.

  • And they all show the same thing.

  • Your whole brain is always worrying and humming

  • with activity.

  • Certain sections work harder than others at certain times.

  • But except for people with actual localized brain damage,

  • nothing is completely dark.

  • There are some other things that point

  • to the myth being wrong too.

  • I mean, our brain uses 20% of our body's total energy.

  • Why would it need so much if it was mostly dormant?

  • Also, unused brain cells actually degenerate.

  • And autopsies of human brains don't ever

  • show large-scale degeneration that

  • wasn't caused by an actual disease.

  • So no, you are not a pill or a technique

  • away from being a psychically-powered warrior.

  • But the real unmangled quote from William James

  • is still true.

  • Most of us don't meet our mental potential.

  • So now that you know that you can access all 100 billion

  • of those neurons of yours at any given time, go out and do it.

  • I'm going to learn French this afternoon.

  • I wonder which part of the brain is

  • responsible for unhealthy levels of optimism.

  • Hey, what do you want to know about the human brain?

  • Let us know down below.

  • And we'll answer some of those questions in future videos.

  • And subscribe for more D News.

2/3 of people in the United States

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Do We Really Use Only 10% Of Our Brain?

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    Precious Annie Liao posted on 2014/05/01
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