What Percentage of Your Brain do You Use?
Hint: All of it, just not at the same time. The “we use 10% of our brain” myth is one of the most persistent in science. I don’t know how or why it lives on. Do we hate our brains? Why not give them more credit? Talk about self-loathing.
This great lesson looks at the history of that myth, and why science says it’s wrong.
Reminiscent of my recent video about “Why We Cook”, this video then translates how the invention of cooking set us up to be thinking machines. Our cranial computers are able to pack more neurons in a given mass than any other animal, but that costs energy, in the form of drinking up bazillions of ATP molecules per second and one-fifth of your total energy intake per day.
By balancing when and where nerves fire (energy efficiency) with how many neurons we have per cubic centimeter (information density), our brains may be at a biological sweet spot between fuel and function. In other words, you use all of it, just not at the same time.
This video has plenty for your brain to digest.
Video by Richard E. Cytowic for TED-Ed