Do people only use 10% of their brains

Many of us have seen the movie Lucy, and many of us have written on it. Who can blame us? It is a fascinating topic of the true capacity that we hold within is. Instead of writing on the movie I am sharing this article with you on the question of do people only use 10 % of their brains.

Based on the article by Boyd, it seems to be nearly impossible for us as humans to only have the ability to use 10% of our brains. Right now as I’m writing these words I’m using more than one small area. I may not know which parts exactly yet that I’m using, but the ability to multitask supports this argument. Our bodies are multitasking every second, even in sleep. The brain stem as Boyd pointed out is controlling all of the involuntary movements in the body such as breathing. My cerebrum and cerebellum are controlling the thought processes going into this assignment and the movement that my hands require to type or write. All of this is happening at the same time; clearly more than just 10% of my brain is active in this particular moment. Linked to the cerebellum are two other structures (pons and the medulla oblongata) that are connections and controls.

The sensory functions of the Thalamus- our eye sight, hearing etc… is processed here. Linked with that is the hypothalamus which regulated out internal systems. There are many different and interconnected parts of the brain that regulate throughout the whole body and being. Our personalities, body temperature and higher cognitive thinking as well as many other functions and processing comes from the brain. I agree with Gordon when quoted in Boyd’s article that it is silly to think that we only possess a small capability. I can go on a run for example and coordinate my body to stay on the path, maintain my breathing and while I’m taking in my surroundings visually there are infinite possibilities for what I could be thinking about. The 10% neuron cells to the 90% glia cells may offer a reason why some believe the myth of only being able to access 10% of our brain, Boyd brings up a valid point that we may just only understand 10% but we use much more if not all.

This is connected to concepts in Cognitive because we are learning about the mind; the literal connections that our brain is making to produce who we are as people. I would like to bring up serial and parallel processing here. Our brains are in a state of parallel processing, meaning that we are carrying out several operations at the same time yet our minds are serial (sometimes) in that we purposely focus on one thing at a time. It’s an interesting thing to think of, our consciousness. In the article they talked about how there isn’t one specific area that controls consciousness, that it is a “collaborative neural effort.”  Some thought on this, I think that TMS studies are interesting in figuring out which parts of the brain are activated for specific tasks, creating non-harmful lesions for testing. I would be interested in seeing further research into what makes up who we are. Current research that is involved is Sebastian Seung’s “Connectome.”


Since we know that we only really understand 10% instead of only using 10%, I will be interested to see what comes in the future for figuring out how we are who we are.