The Unused Brain

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The Unused Brain

One myth about the human brain is the claim that humans use only about 10 percent of their brain capacity. Medical doctors and psychologists insist that the statement is not supported by any scientific evidence.

It is likely the myth that humans use only about 10 percent of their brains arose during 1930s research when scientists were uncertain regarding the functions of large areas of the cortex. In recent years, researchers have been able to "map" the functions of different areas of the brain.

The neocortex, by which higher thinking is performed, consists of a sheet of cells about 2.5 millimeters in thickness. Without the neocortex, consciousness, would not exist.

Although the neocortex is a large part of human evolution, it does contain cavities without any brain cells, as well as considerable amounts of cerebrospinal fluid, white matter, blood vessels, blood, and "non-thinking cells." However, scientists say these areas should not be constituted as the mythical unused 90 percent of the brain.


czerner, thomas b. what makes you tick? the brain in plain english. new york: john wiley & sons, 2001.

nolte, john. the human brain: an introduction to its functional anatomy. philadelphia: mosby publishing, 2002.

restak, richard m., and david grubin. the secret life of the brain. washington, d.c.: joseph henry press, 2001.

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The Unused Brain

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