how much brain is used?

How much brain do we use ?

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There is a myth circulating in the general public that we use only 10% of our brain in daily basis but this is a glamorized popular lie.

According to a 2013 survey ,65 % American believe that they use only 10% of her brain on daily basis.

So how much brain do we use? It is not 10% . We use almost 100% of our brain every day but at any given point of time only 1 to 16% of the brain can be utilized.

How much brain do we use ?

We use about 100 % of our brain on a daily basis but at a given time about 1 to 16% of brain is utilized. Let me simplify it.

Brain is a power hungry organ. Our brain is only 2% of the body weight but it consumes around 20% of our total energy.

We can see brain consumes a lot of energy. Our body cannot provide enough energy for all the brain cells to work at the same time. So our brain uses a specific technique known as sparse coding.

Suppose a human brain with parts A, B ,C&D part.

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A is involved in cooking food , Part B is involved in writing, part C is involved in cycling and part D is involved in study .( This is oversimplification of how brain works).

Part Of BrainSpecific Function
Parts of Brain and their function.

Now as you are studying this blog, Part D is active but the remaining part ABC are inactive .

Similarly, if you are writing then part B is active whereas the other parts are inactive.

Our body cannot activate all these parts A, B, C and D at same time because they will have very very high energy demand . Throughout the day you will use all parts of your brain.

It is not your fault or my fault that our brain can be used only about 1 to 16% at a given time .We are just engineered in this efficient way to conserve energy.

We cannot use 100% of brain at same time . But this doesn’t mean that we don’t use our entire brain. All of our brain is used for our daily activities.

So don’t fall in trap of anyone saying that he will increase your brain usage. Only thing he will increase is his wallet.

We use 10% of brain?

This myth has been around for a long time. The exact time and source of the isn’t well known.

In an article published in a 1907 Source of the journal Science, psychologist and author William James argued that humans only use only fraction of their mental resources. However, he had not specified any percentage.

The figure was referenced in Dale Carnegie’s 1936 book How to Win Friends and Influence People. The myth was described as something the author’s college professor used to say.

In the early 20th century , during early days of neuroscience , scientist were unable to figure the function of the parietal and frontal lobe of the brain. They thought that these lobes were of no specific function and used to believe this 10% myth .

Hollywood loves this myth. You may have seen movies like Lucy (2014) and in Limitless (2011). This ready-made myth is blueprint for fantasy films.

How can we state that we use more than 10% brain?

Brain is an power hungry organ. As already stated, It is only two percent of our total body weight but it consumes about 20% of the total energy . So why would our body waste so much of the energy if 90% brain was of no use .

We know from the evolutionary point of view, the organs that are useless are discarded . If 90% of our brain was not used then evolution would have easily reduced our head and replace it by anything useful stuffs.

Frontal and parietal lobes were regarded as useless during the 20th century . Modern Neuroscience have proved that these lobes have major role in our cognitive function . These parts is difference between our and other animal intelligence .

Modern technologies like fMRI(Ma magnetic resonance imaging) has shown that human being use 100% of his brain in their daily life .

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