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brain usage capacity

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Sun Apr 11 21:49:35 EST 1999

Perhaps the newsgroup mechanism should have an automatic filter for
diverting this perennial question before it is posted--perhaps an
automatic message referring the inquirer to a FAQ file.

Someone asks this at least once a month.

The basic answer is: this is a nonsensical figure and a nonsensical
concept; it belongs to the lower levels of journalism/entertainment (in
the old days, one would say "the Sunday supplement').  It is not a
concept (much less a datum) of current neuroscience.

Possibly there was a neuroscientist whose work was mis-reported by some
journalist long, long ago (I believe someone in this newsgroup did come
up with a provocative candidate, a few months ago).

It is a truism, of course, that for any given task some parts of the
brain are involved more than others, but the idea that the rest of the
brain is doing noothing is ridiculous.

However, I have suggested that 99% of people are not using their brains
for anything very imnportant...

F. Frank LeFever, Ph.D.
New York Neuropsychology Group

In <E25Q2.2129$bF.19369 at newsfeed.slurp.net> "antoine" <antoine at ifu.net>
>I am looking for any info on justifying the fact that we use less than
>(or some other small percent).
>How did the neuro-scientists came up with this number?
>tony serfaty

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