Not to be immodest but I use 100% of my brain, not the ten percent that popular culture proposes. Of course, so do you. It’s not clear how this piece of brain lore got started but there’s no tiptoeing around this one, it’s just wrong. Firstly, our brains are enormously costly to have. Your brain weighs 5% of your total body mass but consumes 20% of the oxygen and glucose used by the body. So this white elephant would have been severely trimmed down by natural selection long ago if 90% of it were not used.

Secondly, the brain has been extensively mapped over the years and each part shown to have a function. Mostly it is those who have an interest in convincing people that there is and easy way to improve themselves who have motivation to perpetuate this nugget of mis-information. “Why work harder” they imply “When we can just show you how to use more of your brain”.

In fact there is more and more research showing that the brain not only is fully utilised but will actually rewire itself depending on how it is used. Once it was thought to be an organ who’s best days were behind it while you were still in childhood. That it could only look forward to neuronal trimming an becoming more and more set in it’s ways. Now we are realising that the humble human brain can update it’s hardware, so to speak, depending on usage. The old addage of “Use it or Lose it” certainly applies.

Not only can stroke victims co-opt other parts of their brains to compensate but people who regularly give their brain a work out can offset the onset of dementia in old age. So get learning now and you won’t go loopy later.

Think about it.

Resources:

http://www.theness.com/articles.asp?id=44

http://media.wiley.com/product_data/excerpt/9X/04714349/047143499X.pdf

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=A2B11F10-E7F2-99DF-395CA5E198A96C7D&sc=I100322

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=BAB80AA1-E7F2-99DF-3A640AF2C3600666&sc=I100322

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=000A9E26-624B-128A-9DD683414B7F0000&sc=I100322