pete's blog



You only use 10 percent of your brain – oh yeh!?

A popular myth is that you only use 10 percent of your brain. The issue then becomes whether there are brain training techniques that would enable you to double your output by doubling the brain used, or increase your memory by slotting info in all those unused spaces.

Reality is, surprise surprise, different.

A TED talk points out that we need to add a few words to the myth – we only use 10 percent of our brain at any one time. The difference is key, as over time we use it all.

According to this presenter it all boils down to energy. We struggle to pour enough power into our glucose hungry brains and if it all ran at once we would run out. Selectively turning on linked nodes, and switching which nodes we use for different tasks is an efficient way of getting things done.

Try to multi-task, though, and it starts to crumble – there isn’t enough energy for both of the tasks.

Interesting to note that modafinil and other similar brain boosters operate by tampering with the brains energy system, letting it run at a marginally faster rate, but also leaving users feeling ‘drained’ at the end of a dose. The supply is limited, so turning up usage puts a strain on the system.

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