Wednesday, September 22

What you need to know about brain space

It's estimated that most of us only use 10% of our brain. Is this a true statement, or is it simply another urban legend?

Many organs have more capacity than we require on a daily basis. You can live without a complete lung or kidney, as well as your appendix, thymus, and spleen, for example. However, this is not the case with the brain. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) studies indicate that humans use their whole brains on a daily basis. Some areas of the body may be more active than others at any one time or during a specific activity. However, no region of the brain is known to be entirely useless or underused.

Where did the ten per cent figure come from? You might point to the brain's enigmatic workings.

For a long time, scientists lacked a trustworthy method of seeing the brain in operation. Even today, MRI and PET scans cannot accurately predict how much we utilize our brain at any one time. Additionally, not every cell in a brain area is active at the same time. That is not to say, however, that such cells are never used. Another way to look at it is as follows: If humans have so much untapped brain capacity, we should be able to withstand the majority of brain diseases or injuries. We, on the other hand, do not. What about the 10% claim? Consider it entirely fictional.

Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels

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