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Why You May Have Heard Humans Only Use 10% of the Brain and Why That's Wrong

https://www.thoughtco.com/percentage-of-human-brain-used-4159438

thoughtco.com

Why You May Have Heard Humans Only Use 10% of the Brain and Why That's Wrong
There is a common myth that 10 percent of the brain is used, however, scientists have shown that humans use their entire brain throughout each day.

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The 10 percent myth

The 10 percent myth

A common myth is that humans only use 10 percent of their brainpower. About 65 percent of Americans believe this, according to a 2013 study. A 1998 study showed that a third of psychology majors, who focus on the brain, also believe this.

However, scientists have consistently shown that humans use their entire brain throughout the day.

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Neuropsychology

Neuropsychology is concerned with how the brain influences someone's behaviour, emotion, and cognition. Different parts of the brain are responsible for specific functions, but the entire brain works together to do an activity.

For example, while reading this text, parts of your brain responsible for vision, reading comprehension, and holding your phone, will be more active. On a brain image, these areas will appear in coloured splotches, while other areas will be grey. The grey areas are still active, just to a lesser degree.

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Debunking the "10 percent" myth

An individual who has suffered brain damage will be unable to do certain things as a result of that damage. If the 10 percent myth were true, damage to about 90 percent of the brain wouldn't affect daily functioning.

But studies show that damaging even a small part of the brain can interfere with a function. Damage to the Broca's area prevents proper formation of words, but comprehension of language remains intact.

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The left/right brain hypothesis

The theory that most people are either dominantly analytical (and left-brained) or creative (and right-brained) is false.

The two hemispheres of the brain are linked and communicate extensively together; they do not work in isolation. 

Recent studies suggest that engaging all the senses in a variety of ways (for instance, audiovisual and tactile) can help employees retain new content.

Re-reading and highlighting

Both of these study strategies are relatively ineffective. Passively reading the same text over and over again won’t do much for recall unless it’s spaced out over time. 

Different learning styles

Systematic studies of learning styles have consistently found no evidence or very weak evidence to support the idea that matching the material to a student’s learning style is more effective.

Right or left-brained

There is no conclusive evidence that people preferentially use the left or right hemisphere.

Certain functions are processed more by one region of the brain than others, and this is known as lateralization. But we all use our entire brain equally.

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