What’s the biggest lie about the human brain?
Of course, experts in behavioral science proposed that different parts of the brain have different functions. However, there is an existing argument as to how our brains work. Some experts would argue that parts of the human brain work together to produce one output.
In other words, any cognitive process involves almost all parts of the brain. For instance, if you are writing a poem, or solving a mathematical problem, all regions of your brain contribute to the process.
The structure of the brain allows it to connect with its parts. Through neurons, neural signals are able to communicate to create a thought and other higher cognitive functioning.
The intriguing question though is that can the brain understand its own complexity? Does the brain have limits? Has the human brain been able to use its full potential?
These questions remain undetermined (in most part). Although the technological advancement of neuroscience is great, the brain remains an unexplored territory. There is so much to know.
Does the human brain only use 10 percent of its potential?
There is an existing myth about the brain that states we only use 10 percent of our brain’s potential. This myth exists as a general truth. Is there a limit to our learning process? What happens when the brain reaches its limit? Can we still learn?
However, neuroscientists dismissed this false belief. In her article, Angela Chen discussed the “10 percent myth” of our brains. In the article, is the actual video of The Verge conversation with Sophie Scott, a neuroscientist at the University College London. Scott discussed the myth about the brain – the 10 percent usage is simply not true.
According to Sophie Scott, our brains work very hard to make sense of our external world in a way that is not so obvious to us.
It doesn’t feel like I’m doing very much, but I’m doing all sorts of stuff to do with my body. I’m not falling off the chair, my heart’s beating, I’m, breathing, I’m staying alive… Massive parts of the brain are associated with perception and production.
So every behavior that we make is a product of the incredible coordination of various structures of the brain. So where was the myth of “10 percent” started? The only evidence that can be retrieved from the internet today is the article entitled, “The Energies of Men” by William James in 1907.
In this article, William James argued that “We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources”.
But for Scott, such statement only serves as an inspirational word.
It was initially meant as a sort of aspirational statement and it almost immediately to started to get taken in this very, very literal way, like somehow we’ve got all this brain real estate but we’re only using a chunk of it.
However, believing such a myth has a potential benefit. For example, if you believe that there’s 90 percent of your brain that is inactive every day, you probably wonder how you could take advantage of it.
Neuroscientists like Scott made a strong stand. They believe, with evidence, that our brains are limitless. It has no boundaries. “The only limit is time”, Scott added.
Although the whole “10 percent” is simply not true, the human brain is plastic. We can train it to become a master of something. But of course, it can’t be automatic. It requires hours and hours of practice.
This is the reason why we go to school early in our lives. We practice practical knowledge and its application.
How to keep the human brain active?
Most of the advice you can get from people is to read and involve yourself in activities that require cognitive functioning. But there’s more to that. The oxygen is the brain’s fuel. So you need to provide it. And how will supply enough oxygen to your brain? The answer is “cardiovascular fitness” as what Scott suggested:
If you encourage cardiovascular fitness, you will incidentally improve brain function because the brain is completely reliant on a good cardiovascular system.
The human brain is plastic making it capable of adapting to any sort of environment. It’s limitless. The only limit is your willingness to explore and use your brain’s potential.
Watch the video: The Verge