Brain Use/40 hertz

Matt Jones jonesmat at
Thu Dec 31 17:09:13 EST 1998

In article <007001be339f$c2b34de0$231bfbd0 at default> RonBlue, rcb5 at MSN.COM
>>ninety percent was for. But I guess my question is: What do "people" (namely,
>>those who have some kind of background in neuroscience) mean when they say
>>that we only use ten percent? Does that mean that there are actually places
>>in everyone's brain that remain dormant, never, or hardly ever, used? Or does
>>it mean that at any one time we have ten percent of our brain capacity

After almost ten years in neuroscience, I've heard this plenty of times
from laypeople and in popular science tv shows and books, but I've never
once heard another card-carrying neuroscientist say anything like this.

I wonder where this idea comes from in the first place? What sort of
_experiment_ could you do to figure out what fraction of the brain is
being used (and you'd also have to have a very precise definition of
"being used": just because a cell isn't firing an action potential
doesn't mean it's not being used)?

I think we use our whole brain all the time. Now, whether or not we're
using it efficiently is another matter.

Matt Jones

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