Comic for July 24th, 2016
July 24th, 2016

Lieutenant Baas Oon, Ensign Amanda Beckman, Ensign S. Amiss, Dr. Walters, Nurse Caitlyn Reese, Dr. Malcom Notio, Mark the Grad Student, Ensign Remy Gasper, Ensign Nancy Simon, Dr. Emil Fronce, Dr. Ari Tunaki, Dr. Stephanie Wilks

I hate the 10% of your brain thing.  As a former neuroscientist is makes me physically hurt when any movie or show says it.

Discussion (15)¬

  1. Docknock says:


  2. Gwarin says:

    Some 30 years ago I was a biology student and attended a meeting of brain scientists. During the meeting a documentary movie was shown that may have been the source of the 10% thing.
    The movie was about people who had as little as 10% of normal brain size because of hydrocephalus, a disorder where brain cavities are abnormally large and filled with fluid. Despite these defects, the people in the movie had normal lives, at least one of them had a scientific degree. I think that the movie concluded that these findings imply that we don’t need 90% of our brain so everyone must be using only 10%.
    In the discussion after watching the movie, the brain scientists remarked that the movie’s conclusion was not logically sound. Also, the hydrocephalus people with so called “normal” or even academically successful lives, were not a random sample but might represent the very high end of the curve, as rare as Noble prize winners among regular people.
    I’m definitely not going to volunteer to have 90% of my brain removed 🙂

  3. Xaran Alamas says:

    Isn’t the truth of the matter something more like people only actively use 10% of their brain at any one time but like, there’s not 90% of the brain that’s never used, just that the bits used at any one time are roughly 10% but which bits of the brain are being used change from moment to moment? Or am I way off?

    If I’m not way off I’m guessing that’s what the person was trying to say.

    • hamof says:

      I think we use 10% of the brain to think, while the rest takes care of everything that doesn’t require conscious thought.

    • Darg says:

      Mythbusters tested that one and they found that we actively use 10-15% of our brains at any given time, but depending on what we’re doing it’s a different area of the brain, which amounts to 100% of our brains used, just different parts at different times.

  4. CommanderBalok says:

    An origin that I once read goes (basically) like this: if you study how much of the brain is active (a PET scanner can do this) it’s about 10% at any given moment. That is, about 10% of the total neurons are firing. But, over the course of time, all of the brain is in use.

    Neurons are metabolically expensive. Evolution would have shed any we truly did not need.

    • hkmaly says:

      Not only it would, it DID. Neanderthals had bigger brains than we do (although they may not be our ancestors, they are definitely closely related.)

      Although, I find quite plausible that people saying we only use 10% of our brain really are only using 10% of theirs. The rest is used by myths and memes outside their control.

  5. Mr. Speck says:

    “Maybe you only use 10% of your brain” is a pretty excellent comeback to this.

  6. Mark says:

    As someone else has remarked above, we do use only a small part of our brain at any given moment. I had heard that the maximum anyone uses at a given time is about 16% (but they will still use 100% of their brain over the course of a day or so).

    Also, the rate at which we as adults normally learn and can process new information is far slower than what the brain is actually capable. Small children, for example, can form new neural connections in their brain many times faster than adults..

    So there is some truth to the notion that we use a small percentage of the brain’s true capacity..

  7. MikeT says:

    IIRC the original line that is misquoted was that only about 10% of the brain is used by the Conscious mind

    that means the other 90% is used by the Sub Conscious which is all well and good as you would want your heart to stop beating because you got distracted

  8. Oldfan says:

    Given some of the things people say and do, it sure seems like only 10% of their brains are actually functional at times…

  9. General Mars says:

    Amen to that.