Medical 10% Myth

  • Thread starter Therian
  • Start date
44
0
My friend was saying that

*it is only physically possiable for the average human to use 10% of their brain at once. (She wasn't saying we always use the same 10% of our brain though)

Is that true?
 

Pengwuino

Gold Member
4,854
14
heh, did you ask why that is? :)
 

selfAdjoint

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
6,764
5
Therian said:
My friend was saying that

*it is only physically possiable for the average human to use 10% of their brain at once. (She wasn't saying we always use the same 10% of our brain though)

Is that true?
This is a little different from the usual 10% myth. I don't know of any research that says what percentage of the brain is in use at any moment; it would vary of course depending on what you were doing. And what counts as "brain"? Do we count all the glial cells (support tissue, non active) in the denominator? Ask her for a reference. If she says "It's generally known" be sure she's just retailing a myth.
 

somasimple

Gold Member
743
4
Hi,

Do we count all the glial cells (support tissue, non active)
This knowledge is unfortunately out to date. :smile:
 
644
1
What are brains? I am sorry, my kidney isnt that smart.

-- AI
 

hypnagogue

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,221
2
somasimple said:
selfAdjoint said:
Do we count all the glial cells (support tissue, non active)
This knowledge is unfortunately out to date. :smile:
somasimple, thanks for keeping us on our toes, but it would be nice if you could go into more details when discussing factual matters like this one. Even just posting a link to a reputable source on the matter should be sufficient.

According to the Wikipedia entry on glial cells:

Glial cells, commonly called neuroglia or simply glia, are non-neuronal cells that provide support and nutrition, maintain homeostasis, form myelin, and participate in signal transmission in the nervous system. In the human brain, glia are estimated to outnumber neurons by as much as 50 to 1.

Traditionally glia are thought to lack certain features of neurons. For example, glia are not believed to have chemical synapses, nor do they generate action potentials or release neurotransmitters. They were considered to be the passive bystanders of neural transmission. However, recent studies completely reversed these dogma. For example, astrocytes are crucial in clearance of neurotransmitter within the synaptic cleft, which temporally and spatially restricts neurotransmission and limit the toxicity of certain neurotransmitters such as glutamate. And at least in vitro astrocytes can release neurotransmitter glutamate in response to certain stimulation. Another unique type of glia, the oligodendrocyte precursor cells or OPCs, have very well defined and functional synapses from at least two major groups of neurons. The only notable differences between neurons and glia, by modern scrutiny, are the ability to generate action potentials and the polarity of neurons, namely the axons and dendrites which glia lack. It is inappropriate nowadays to consider glia as 'glue' in the nervous system as the name implies. They are also crucial in the development of nervous system and in processes such as synaptic plasticity and synaptogenesis.
 

hypnagogue

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,221
2
Phobos said:
According to this article, "The origins of the myth are not at all clear." Here's an article that goes a little deeper into the origins of the 10% myth (you may have to scroll down a bit to get to the article):

Exploding the 10 percent myth
So where did this particular old wives' tale spring from? Well, there are at least three famous bits of neuroscientific research that have fed the myth. And here are the modern countering arguments.
 

Related Threads for: 10% Myth

  • Posted
2
Replies
32
Views
6K
  • Posted
Replies
1
Views
3K
  • Posted
Replies
6
Views
4K
  • Posted
Replies
16
Views
4K
  • Posted
Replies
6
Views
4K
Replies
13
Views
5K
Replies
20
Views
8K
Replies
16
Views
4K

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Hot Threads

Top