# % of brain used, myth?

by Dymond
Tags: brain, myth
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 P: 1 I saw an old thread on this website that talked about the percentage of the brain being used. But I wasnt quite satisfied with the answers given, not because I beleive them to be wrong; I just don't think that their question was direct enough. I have been told that we only use 10% of our brain, and I've also been told that its a myth. I've seen a few people's opinions on the matter and I dont think anyones really on the same page with it, giving different answers/opinions. It really depends on how you look at the question. If someone says "Do we really only use 10% of our brain?", the literal answer is no. Because much more than 10% of the physical brain is used while doing something that requires mental energy. The more activity going on up there the more of itself it uses. I'm leaning more towards the 10% being the capacity that the brain can use. The only way i can really describe it is like a computers RAM. Your computer may have 320G in its HDD. You can access it all, but if you ran the same amount of memory on two computers with different RAM's the percentage of its CPU usage will vary. So if you use more than that average 10 percent, your brain will use its functions more easily and efficiently. Making the person smarter in general and able to use more of the brain at once. So I guess what im really trying to ask is whether or not the 10% myth is actually true if looked at like a capacity to use whats stored in the brain. sorry about the lead up to the question, i just needed to explain what was on my mind regarding it. Does anyone get where im coming from?
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P: 5,403
 Quote by Dymond The only way i can really describe it is like a computers RAM. Your computer may have 320G in its HDD. You can access it all, but if you ran the same amount of memory on two computers with different RAM's the percentage of its CPU usage will vary. So if you use more than that average 10 percent, your brain will use its functions more easily and efficiently. Making the person smarter in general and able to use more of the brain at once.
Welcome to PF! This does not conform to the current understanding in neuroscience. All components of the brain are constantly working with specialised regions performing specific tasks (i.e. visual processing), sections of the brain are never idle.

This link has some good, simple explanations of why the myth is wrong and links to other sites.
 P: 3,387 Old thread? It's last post was yesterday. Would recommend merging this with http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=494217 to prevent redundant threads.
P: 463
% of brain used, myth?

Most recent coming out of the hub regarding the HUMAN BRAIN:
 ALLEN INSTITUTE FOR BRAIN SCIENCE ANNOUNCES FIRST COMPREHENSIVE GENE MAP OF THE HUMAN BRAIN The Allen Human Brain Atlas reveals more than 90 percent similarity among humans and details genes at work throughout the brain to advance scientific research and medical outcomes. SEATTLE, Wash.—April 12, 2011—The Allen Institute for Brain Science has released the world’s first anatomically and genomically comprehensive human brain map, a previously unthinkable feat made possible through leading-edge technology and more than four years of rigorous studies and documentation. The unprecedented mappings are the foundation for the Allen Human Brain Atlas, an online public resource developed to advance the Institute’s goal to accelerate understanding of how the human brain works and fuel new discovery among the global research community. In developing the Allen Human Brain Atlas, the Allen Institute has now thoroughly characterized and mapped the biochemistry of two normal adult human brains, providing opportunities for scientists to study the brain with new detail and accuracy. The data reveal a striking 94 percent similarity between human brains, establishing strong patterns as a critical foundation for translational and clinical research. In addition, data analysis from the two human brains indicate that at least 82 percent of all human genes are expressed in the brain, highlighting its tremendous complexity while also providing an essential genetic blueprint to understand brain functionality better and propel research in neurologic disease and other brain disorders. Please read on . . . http://www.alleninstitute.org/Media/...BrainAtlas.pdf
Fantastic website:

 PAUL G. ALLEN COMMITS $100 MILLION TO BRAIN RESEARCH Seed Money Creates Allen Institute for Brain Science and Unprecedented Brain Atlas Project SEATTLE – SEPT. 16, 2003 – Investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen today announced a commitment of$100 million in seed money dedicated to brain research and unveiled the creation of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. Founded as an innovative and unprecedented resource for neuroscientists around the world, the nonprofit Allen Institute—and its inaugural project the Allen Brain Atlas—will combine the disciplines of neuroscience and genomics to create a map of the mammalian brain at the cellular level. Through a collection of gene expression maps, brain circuitry and cell location, the Atlas will illustrate the functional anatomy of the brain. Building a publicly-accessible research tool that overlays structural imagery of the brain with specific details about the locations and functions of active genes will be carried out on an unprecedented scale, representing an immense advance in brain science. Long-term, the research will contribute to the work of scientists, medical researchers and educators around the world, supporting the development of new insights into normal brain function, as well as fundamental clues about the development and treatment of brain-related disorders, emotion, cognition, learning and memory. The findings will also provide valuable support for third-party research into the treatment and prevention of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, clinical depression, autism, addiction disorders and more. Please read on . . . http://www.alleninstitute.org/Media/...essRelease.pdf
http://www.alleninstitute.org/newsro..._releases.html
 P: 605 The real problem behind this question in the previous thread was, "How do you define brain usage?" And it has been thoroughly discussed over there.
P: 463
 Quote by mishrashubham The real problem behind this question in the previous thread was, "How do you define brain usage?" And it has been thoroughly discussed over there.
No, it was not thoroughly discussed over on the other thread. Here's an article from UCLA Health System:

 Autism changes molecular structure of the brain, UCLA study finds Date: 05/25/2011 [snip] "We were surprised to see similar gene expression patterns in most of the autistic brains we studied," said first author Irina Voineagu, a UCLA postdoctoral fellow in neurology. "From a molecular perspective, half of these brains shared a common genetic signature. Given autism's numerous causes, this was an unexpected and exciting finding." The researchers' next step was to identify the common patterns. To do this, they looked at the cerebral cortex's frontal lobe, which plays a role in judgment, creativity, emotions and speech, and at its temporal lobes, which regulate hearing, language and the processing and interpreting of sounds. When the scientists compared the frontal and temporal lobes in the healthy brains, they saw that more than 500 genes were expressed at different levels in the two regions. In the autistic brains, these differences were virtually non-existent. "In a healthy brain, hundreds of genes behave differently from region to region, and the frontal and temporal lobes are easy to tell apart," Geschwind said. "We didn't see this in the autistic brain. Instead, the frontal lobe closely resembles the temporal lobe. Most of the features that normally distinguish the two regions had disappeared." Two other clear-cut patterns emerged when the scientists compared the autistic and healthy brains. First, the autistic brain showed a drop in the levels of genes responsible for neuron function and communication. Second, the autistic brain displayed a jump in the levels of genes involved in immune function and inflammatory response. [snip] http://www.uclahealth.org/body.cfm?i...etail&ref=1664
P: 605
 Quote by ViewsofMars No, it was not thoroughly discussed over on the other thread.
There have been a few proposed criteria for brain usage some of which were:
1. Blow flow by Dr Lots-o'watts
2. Neuron Firing rate by Dalespam
3. Memory usage by Darken-Sol

However we define it, its a myth.
Also I would link back to good ol Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10%25_myth#Refutation

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