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Humans use 10% of brain... true?

Richard Hall rhall at uvi.edu
Thu Aug 26 07:27:06 EST 1999

How many angels dance on the head of a pin?  Humans use X% of their brain.
Like any organ system the brain develops, matures, and declines.  Consider
renal function:  as tubules are destroyed, renal capacity delines and by
age 80 yrs it may perform at only 15-50% of maximum.  Still, every
functional tubule is used and so at age 80 one still uses 100% of their

I believe that sophists have taken hold of this non-issue.  Have fun.


At 8:19 PM -0400 8/25/99, Martin Knopman wrote:
>henrik at unge-forskere.no wrote in message <7pun9k$9bs$1 at nnrp1.deja.com>...
>>Is the common (pseudo-scientific) myth that humans only use 10% of
>>their brain true?
>I don't even know what this question means!  You have some notion of 100%
>utilization of the brain?  Can anyone cite a study, or conjecture, that the
>computational capacity of the normal human brain (outside of newly created
>and acquired linguistic devices?) is x.  And has anyone ever even come up
>with an estimate for the average (?) computational work done by some average
>brain, in some average situation, after an average amount of sleep, thinking
>some average thought, within an average emotional environment, ... I think
>that it's even hard to determine %100 utilization of many simple mechanical
>machines - different contexts yield different answers, not to mention the
>unknown productive contexts.
>>How is this coherent with evolution theory (the extinction of useless
>I don't like your use of the word "useless" here.  The word denotes a
>context much, much larger than anyone could ever ascribe to evolution.
>Martin Knopman

Richard Hall, Associate Professor of
Comparative Animal Physiology
Division of Sciences and Mathematics
University of the Virgin Islands
St. Thomas, USVI  00802

rhall at uvi.edu

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