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#10648 - 09/26/05 07:49 PM Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
Offline
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Registered: 08/21/05
Posts: 127
Loc: does it really matter?
From where did the idea of "humans use only 10% of their brains" originate?

"The facts of both psychology and neurology show a degree of plasticity, of organization, and of adaptation in behavior which is far beyond any present possibility of explanation. For immediate progress it is not very important that we should have a correct theory of brain activity, but it is essential that we shall not be handicapped by a false one." -K. S. Lashley Behavior Research Fund, Chicago.

Do we really know what consciousness is? How is it that an assemblage of atoms comes to have what we know as "consciousness"? It's quite incredible to think that a mind is a set of atoms that get conscious of their own existence; is science currently able to explain this?

The following article is in regards to the 10% question:

http://www.sci-con.org/articles/20040901.html

Does the theory of everything invalidate the idea of free will?

sincerely,
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#10649 - 09/26/05 08:02 PM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
Yet Another Crank Offline
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Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 65
Loc: My secret island lair
re: using only 10%...

Do you really think that the body expends the huge amount of energy required to maintain your brain, for only 10% of it to be used?

You're using the whole thing. Perhaps not as efficiently as others do, but that's a different matter.


re: consciousness...

Yes, it's quite amazing, isn't it!

And self-awareness is not unique to humans, either. Cool.

But was there a point to your observation?


re: free will...

a theory of everything merely explains the rules according to which stuff behaves. It does not predict exactly what will happen in the future, and does not negate the concept of free will. Perfect knowledge does not make more predictable the outcome of a chaotic system.
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#10650 - 09/26/05 08:31 PM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
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Crank, I never said that humans use only 10 % of their brain. (although I should have clarified that in my original post wink ) I querey as to how the expression came to fruition. I never said self-awareness was unique to humans either.

TOE, "In fact, many physicists take the position that physics is the only fundamental science. Their argument runs as follows: all sciences--biology, chemistry, geology, etc.--are concerned with matter; all matter is composed of atoms; physics describes the dynamics and internal configurations of atoms. Extension of this physico-centric view can result in profound philosophical consequences. For example, if one accepts that the human brain controls all human behavior, and if one accepts that the brain is composed entirely of atoms whose behavior is completely described by laws of physics, then one may reasonably question whether a person has the free will to control his behavior." as taken from www.sciencedaily.com

Sincerely,
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"My God, it's full of stars!" -2010

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#10651 - 09/26/05 08:53 PM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
j6p Offline
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Registered: 07/08/05
Posts: 47
If consciousness is self awareness then is it necessary to be aware of the conciousness of others in order to be conscious?
I ask this because sometimes I wonder if there is conciousness in what seems to us as inanimate objects or even inorganic material. Is a rose concious or is the earth concious? Are they self concious and we don't recognize it and they don't recognize our level of conciousness.

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#10652 - 09/27/05 12:04 AM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
Uncle Al Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 540
Loc: Southern California
UC/Irvine Brain Imaging Center did a nice study. Naive subjects were shot up with radioactive 2-deoxy-2-fluoro(F-18)-D-glucose and introduced to Tetris. The tagged sugar accumulates in brain areas with high metabolism. PET brain scan afterward showed their brains were lit up like Christmas trees. New folks at Tetris don't score well.

A month or two later, after intensive training and routine high scores, they were shot up again. They played the game as at first and then had their brains PET imaged. There were a couple of peeps of light, one in the vision area at the back of the brain, the other to one side. Everything else was dark

You don't need a lot of brain to solved a diffcult problem. You don't want a lot of brain working on it. What you want is just that part of your brain that can give you the answer.

Genius is efficient and parsimonious.
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#10653 - 09/27/05 12:27 AM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
Rusty Rockets Offline
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Registered: 06/04/05
Posts: 175
Perhaps what the saying means is that we only use 10% of our brains at any given moment for any given task. That is, we do use all of our brains, so to speak, but only use one or two sections at a time (~10%) in order to perform specific tasks. Tying your shoelace, say, would require a combination of sight and a coordination of certain motor responses. It might be that our brains can only use a maximum of 10% of our brain capability at any given moment.

Perhaps this is why we are not that great at multi tasking, there is a limit to how many things we can do at once. We do seem to be quite good at switching from one task to another quite efficiently, however.

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#10654 - 09/27/05 06:48 AM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
DA Morgan Offline
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The 10% number is pure nonsense. Always has been. Always will be. All humans use all of their brains.

The question that should be asked is "to do what?"

Some use them to guess who the survivor will be on a reality show. Some use them to remember meaningless metrics about who pitched a perfect no-hitter in a baseball game 20 years earlier. And some explore the cosmos and develop cures for scourges like polio.

As with many things ... stupid people are concerned with quantity rather than quality.
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#10655 - 09/27/05 06:56 AM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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#10656 - 09/27/05 12:41 PM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
Rusty Rockets Offline
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Registered: 06/04/05
Posts: 175
Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
The 10% number is pure nonsense. Always has been. Always will be. All humans use all of their brains.

The question that should be asked is "to do what?"

Some use them to guess who the survivor will be on a reality show. Some use them to remember meaningless metrics about who pitched a perfect no-hitter in a baseball game 20 years earlier. And some explore the cosmos and develop cures for scourges like polio.

As with many things ... stupid people are concerned with quantity rather than quality.
Well it's interesting that you should put it like that, because that is just what I was suggesting. That the brain utilizes and focuses on a limited number of tasks at any given moment to make sure the job is executed properly (quality). By saying that we use all of our brains all of the time seems to be more of a quantity argument to me.

I'm sure that the using 10% of our brains argument is just a throw away comment, but to answer the question of how much of our brains we use at any given moment would involve defining "use." If "use" involves every function that the brain performs, be it voluntary or involuntary then, yes, we do use all of our brains all of the time just to stay alive. But if we are just discussing what we would call conscious thought, then it may be less.

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#10657 - 09/27/05 08:44 PM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
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The consciousness enigma has long intrigued neuroscientists such as Christof Koch, author of "The Movie in Your Head." Imaging technology reveals what areas in the brain are buzzing with neural activity when a person is tracking a speeding car, looking at a loved one or eating a chocolate bar. Much like Uncle Al provided. But how does such incessant chemical signaling stitch vivid sensory impressions into an apparently seamless stream of consciousness? Is the "real world" we know merely an illusion created from those fragments...? wink

Clues about the processing of complex sensory inputs also come from brains that are not "normal." For people with synesthesia, for instance, sight, hearing and touch can blend in extraordinary ways. The sound of each note plunked on a piano might evoke a different color. Printed letters, words, numbers or even days on a calendar may flash with hues of their own. Flavor can mingle with shapes. The strums of a violin can feel like a luscious caress.

The condition bestows a unique gift not only on people who experience its marvels firsthand but also on researchers. In "Hearing Colors, Tasting Shapes," neuroscientists Vilayanur S. Ramachandran and Edward M. Hubbard describe insights they have gleaned from synesthesia's exotic world.

Sincerely,
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"My God, it's full of stars!" -2010

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#10658 - 09/27/05 08:51 PM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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#10659 - 09/28/05 01:05 AM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
Rusty Rockets Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/05
Posts: 175
Quote:
Originally posted by TheFallibleFiend:
http://www.csicop.org/si/9903/ten-percent-myth.html
Don't take my psychic powers away, I need them!

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#10660 - 09/28/05 01:58 PM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
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Registered: 08/21/05
Posts: 127
Loc: does it really matter?
TFF, lol. Succint and to-the-point.
Sincerely,
_________________________
"My God, it's full of stars!" -2010

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#10661 - 09/30/05 11:21 PM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
Edisonian Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 6
Loc: Washington, DC
Is there any empirical evidence that supports the claim that humans only use 10% of their brains. I doubt it. That's a generalization that's evoked to show the promise of humankind.
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#10662 - 10/06/05 10:18 PM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
Blacknad Offline
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Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
There seem to be cases where a part of the brain is destroyed and another part takes over the function. Does this mean that some parts of the brain are not being used but are there on standby?

This is detailed in Susan Greenfields, 'The Human Brain - A guided tour - pp30.

Blacknad.

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#10663 - 10/07/05 11:46 AM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
RM Offline
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Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 560
Loc: London
The next time you're relaxing, notice how you breathe. you don't use up the maximum capacity of your lungs. when you are running - you do. I believe the brain works on the same principle.

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#10664 - 10/07/05 07:21 PM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
DA Morgan Offline
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Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Perhaps your brain. Not mine. Mine is constantly busy calculating how to keep me from falling out of my lounge chair.
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#10665 - 10/19/05 01:26 PM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
RM Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 560
Loc: London
what is super-awareness?

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#10666 - 11/09/05 01:32 PM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
RM Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 560
Loc: London
hello?

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#10667 - 11/09/05 01:33 PM Re: Do we really only utilize "10 %" of our brains?
RM Offline
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Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 560
Loc: London
Alas, another topic bites the dust

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