Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Myth of the 10%

The movie Lucy, I'm told, is making a big splash in some pools this summer. The film pushes the idea that we only use about 10%-15% of our brain capacity. You've probably heard this claim somewhere along the line yourself, even if you haven't seen Lucy. It's one of those factoids we absorb in our childhood and grow up just accepting, especially since it gets reinforced by our experience with certain of our classmates when we get into high school.

But, although this claim certainly seems sometimes as though it's true of at least some people we know, scientists insist that actually it's one of those "facts" everyone "knows" but which turns out to be false:
I do have to wonder, though, about the speaker's comment that our whole brain is always "whirring and humming" with activity. Maybe so, but I'll bet that students who have a really boring 1:00 class after eating a big lunch are probably thinking that "whirring and humming with activity" is probably not the most accurate way to describe what their brain's doing during that hour.