10% of the brain . . .
I remember when I thought that this was true, that we only use about 10% of our brain at any given time and that there are areas to be opened or activated. I think I believed this up until fairly recently . . . maybe 5 years or so ago. I don't know, I can't remember the last time I was telling somebody about using a hallucinogen when I was younger and recalling the "doors of perception" opening. I lumped "heightened" experiences via hallucinogens with the 10% myth. Do hallucinogens make us perceive things that we might not have otherwise? Of course they do. Does that mean that compartments of our brain are unused and need to be opened? Of course not. Through PET scans and fMRI technology, we know that all parts of the brain are used, unless there is brain damage. I'm no neuroscientist, but there are many out there that have proven this to be true.
This gets a little more interesting when people use the word "potential". And by "more interesting", I mean that they have added another word to something that still doesn't make sense. Parents say things like this all the time to their kids when they feel disappointed in them. "You're not living up to your potential" or "You're only using 10% of your potential" . . . or whatever arbitrary percentage they want to throw on that statement. We now know that the brain doesn't stop developing until about 25 years old. We used to think it stopped when we were 16 or so. So, "potential" seems like a weird word to show disappointment in someone. What if they don't know yet? What if no one taught them properly, or taught them incorrectly? What if they are fully developed, but still haven't been taught properly or at all? What if they have brain damage?
It's weird . . . we don't know that much about the brain, but we know a hell of a lot more than we used to and we're understanding more everyday. I think there should be a modifier to this myth to make it real. EVEN THOUGH WE USE ALL OF OUR BRAIN, IT SOMETIMES "LOOKS" LIKE WE ONLY USE 10% BECAUSE WE STOP THINKING FOR OURSELVES AND USE FALSE KNOWLEDGE. That's more than just a modifier, oh well.
There is a movie coming out this summer called LUCY. I'm not gonna lie . . . it looks pretty badass. It's written and directed by Luc Besson, who I happen to enjoy a lot. Watch this trailer real quick so I don't talk about the plot at length:
I don't know if Besson believes this to be true and I don't really care. He's a story teller making a badass action/scifi film. It's nonsense that using more percentage points of our brain can make us stronger and better human beings because it's not a real thing. And when it comes to entertainment, that doesn't matter. I'm entertained all the time by shit that is absurd. However, in real life, we can't just make shit up or believe these things without question.
Here are some things to read regarding the claim: