Thursday, April 19, 2012

Scientists say we’re using all – not part of - our brain, which surprises the hell out of me!

                      Good Day Humboldt County!

  For the longest time I really believed that humans only used a portion of the brains, and that a genius was somehow able to tap into the other unused areas. They accessed places that average guys like me would never see.

  I think I was comfortable with that. It’s an old well-traveled belief that there has to be a reason why some people are so exceptionally intelligent.

  I admit I’ve been blissfully operating under the assumption there might even be a day when humans could use more of their brains and a worldwide Utopia would result. Everyone would be too smart to fight and be deceived by stupid, power-mongering individuals if they could use all their brain power right? That’s the way I had it figured. I should have known better.

The fact is, if we are already using all of our brain power (like the experts say below), then we are indeed in trouble. Just look at the world around us. For decades an urban myth – “we only use 10 percent of our brains” - traveled across the country and was accepted as gospel.

Turns out this urban myth wasn’t true:

“If we did use only 10 percent of our brains we’d be close to dead, according to Eric Chudler, director of the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering at the University of Washington.

With the rise of the human potential movement in the 1960s, some preached that all sorts of powers, including bending spoons and psychic abilities, were laying dormant in our heads and that all we had to do was get off our duffs and activate them.” (source)

I remember hearing in high school that if we only used 20 percent percent of our brainpower we’d be flying, reading people’s minds, and doing all kinds of cool things. I don’t recall that 10 percent figure being used…but I suppose it doesn’t matter one way or the other. The big surprise is that we’re using all of our brains (well, not all of us) and we’re not superhuman.

“The brain, Chudler said, isn’t like a disc drive with some set amount of capacity. It’s a dynamic maze of wiring where new connections can be created in response to new stimuli, or lost with disuse. And much of it is constantly occupied not with intellectual thinking, but running our systems. When recordings are made from brain EEGs, or PET scans, or any type of brain scan, there’s no part of the brain just sitting there unused.” (source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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