## Friday, December 21, 2007

### I Think The Myth Is True Anyway

Here's an article busting 7 common medical myths. There was one related to education:

We use only 10 percent of our brains

This myth arose as early as 1907 but imaging shows no area of the brain is silent or completely inactive.

I don't know--I'll bet every teacher could identify at least one student who only uses 10% of his/her brain! I'll bet every teacher could probably identify at least one administrator who fits that bill, too :-)

Bob said...

I don't know, Darren. I used to be a doubter of this stat too until I shared with my algebra class the story of the guy who calculated the 13th root of a 200-digit number in 72 seconds. (see http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22768356-13762,00.html for more info ...)

He says that everybody has the capacity to do this kind of mental math.

Right now I'm having a problem remembering what I got my wife for Christmas. In other words, now that school is out I may only be using 1% of my brain ...

Mrs. Bluebird said...

Now don't forget about the parents!!!

Greg said...

On the other hand, I've come to believe that 10th graders only use about 10% of their brains -- on a good day.

If my final exam grades are any indication, it is even the percentage is often even lower. :(

As my father (Phd in psychology) used to say - How do we know what 10% is if we don't know what 100% is?

Ed said...

Let's imagine for a moment what it would mean, on a neurological level, to be using 100% of one's brain. Would that not mean that every single neuron was firing all the time? No information could be processed in such a brain - it would be like a computer with all the bits inside permanently set to 1.

Darren said...

I'm not so sure. 100% of the brain being used would mean that all the neurons can fire, but not all at once. I always took the 10% figure to mean that we only use 10% of the volume of the brain, not that 10% of the neurons in the brain were firing at any given time.

But it's a myth, so it can mean whatever we want it to mean!