What is the Capacity of our Brain?
"we use only 10 % of our brain capacity"
Is this information true ? Where it was originated ? How do you measure "brain capacity" ? For what ?
There is an interesting consequence if this figure is true. We know that natural selection gradually leads to the atrophy of organs which are not used (e.g.: the tail, the appendix, or the third molar teeth). Therefore, if we are not using our full brain capacity (at least in 99.9 % of mankind), one would expect a decrease in the number of neurons.
Dr. Silvia Helena Cardoso, PhD, Psychobiologist
I have also heard that we use 10% percent of our brain capacity, many times. I think that the statement is not supposed to be interpreted in an absolute sense but instead it is related to time: "to realize a certain everyday operation [at time (t)] our brain activates not much more than 10% of its neurons. For example, in reading and writing we use specific areas of our frontal-parietal and temporal lobes and these, if i'm not mistaking, are activate in sequence: at time (t0) area-A, at (t1) area-b, (t3) area-c,..... so on. On the other hand if we were to use 100% of our brain capacity while, for example, driving there would probably be a gross short-circuit: there would be no higher level elaboration of information and the cognitive system would simply stall.
Back to the beggining of this discussion
Silvia Helena Cardoso, PhD
Copyright 1997 Universidade Estadual de Campinas