IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

"Humans only use a fraction of their brain...Reply"

Brian zhil at online.no
Thu May 17 20:03:23 EST 2001

"Bill Saidel" <saidel at crab.rutgers.edu> skrev i melding
news:9e1qqm$bi7$1 at crab.rutgers.edu...
> Years ago (maybe 12 by now) I posted a message asking this question
> on a fledgling neuropsych listserver. I asked where such an idea
> originated from and received a few answers, none of which directly
> answered the question.
>    One answer from McCarthy of AI fame was that in 1939 or so (he
> was not sure), he read the famous myth in a self help book.  At
> least two others suggested Wm. James and Karl Lashley as possible
> sources.
>    Lashley's work with rats and cortical lesions seems the most
> "logical" source if I had to invent one, but his work on this
> subject for many reasons (as is the myth) is odd because he seemed
> to have ignored the cortical literature arising from the 60 years
> previous to his (ca.) 1929 Science review paper.
>    Anyway, much work in the last 50 years tends to support cortical
> functional localization which Lashley apparently ignored. The myth then
> arises, in my interpretation of an urban legend, from studies
> based on mistaken notions of the homogeneity of the majority of
> cortex.
>    However, one can take this statement de novo and ask what
> does it mean? I wonder if the question even has meaning?
> Is it similar to "A radio only operates at a miniscule of efficiency
> because it is only receiving one station at a time?" or
> "Computers are inefficient because many of the virtual switches
> are closed at a given instant of time?"
>    I think the %10 question is invalid at least because it does
> not specify the nature of neural information. Is information only
> conveyed by active neurons? Surely not! Just think about any
> topographic system requires the "inactivity" of most neurons to
> permit specification of a specific item within the topography
> (and I use "inactivity" to mean uncorrelated, not silent).
>    Not to belabor the point, and I sure anticipate both cogent and
> flamed responses, despite the ubiquitous "knowledge" that humans
> use only 10-15% of their brains, that knowledge is bogus.
> Bill Saidel
> Biology, Rutgers University
> saidel at crab.rutgers.edu

Thank you for the answer.
Before I came here, I suspected something like this, but could never prove
-Not an MD, just curious......

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net