Personally, I would love to believe that I could have special powers. Who wouldn’t want to believe that they are a Jedi in waiting, that somewhere, deep inside my brain, I have the power to move objects with my mind and read other people’s thoughts. The logic goes like this: if I am a fully functioning human being (most of the time), and I am only using 10% of my brain, then if I can learn how to use only a part of the other 90% percent, I should be able to unlock all kinds of psychic abilities that science fiction authors only dream of. Fortunately for me, this does not appear to be true- if I really was only using a small portion of my brain, there’s a good chance you would think of me as a vegetable.
Most of the brain’s functions are carried out without us even knowing it. Our lungs breathe, our hearts beat, and we sweat when it is hot. Losing even a small part of your brain’s capability to an injury such as a stroke can lead to permanent disabilities, and sometimes death. According to John Henley, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, evidence shows that over the course of a day we use all 100% of our brains (well, most of us anyway).
One reason 10% myth is still widely believed might be because if you look at a single PET (positron emission tomography) scan image, which measures brain activity, researchers have found that different areas of the brain are stimulated while subjects are performing specific tasks. If the subject was recalling memories, for instance, the area of the hippocampus would light up stronger than the rest of the background. But if you were to look at PET scans overlapped from an entire day, you would see the whole brain lit up, which pretty much chucks the whole myth out through the space dock.
I understand this is bad news for wanna-be superheroes everywhere, including myself, but I wouldn’t give up all hope. There have been a number of cases where people have survived strokes, and while losing large sections of their brains, were able to re-teach themselves many of the skills they had lost. This may be due to our brains being highly adaptable, or because we really do have super Jedi powers. Either way, there is still a lot about the brain we have yet to discover.
Here's the link to a Discovery Channel video... psychic powers or no, the brain is still very cool!
Posted 4932 day ago