Ten Percent Myth

Richard Norman rnorman at umich.edu
Wed Feb 6 20:35:48 EST 2002

"Carbie" <nospam at nospam.nospam> wrote in message news:<a3schh$jp9$1 at helle.btinternet.com>...
> "Miles Robinson" <m-robinson7 at northwestern.edu> wrote in message
> news:a3q97n$fmg$1 at news.acns.nwu.edu...
> > Can somone explain to me the theory that humans use 10 percent of their
> > brain? The details seem sketchy.
> >
> >
> It might be true if it was based on the behaviour of psychiatrists or social
> workers...

Actually, 10% seems awfully high.  I can't imagine that even 10% of
the cells (at least of those cells that do actually spike) are
actually busy firing action potentials at any one time.  And these are
certainly firing at far less than 10% of their maximum capacity.  Just
think how smart we would be if all our cells were firing at maximal
rates all the time! (Maybe we could all run around OD'ed on
strychnine!)  The real question is which 10% is it that we use?

The best answer I heard (probably on this news group last time around
for this question) was that anyone who believes this 10% story should
be willing to volunteer to have 90% of their own brain removed.

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