The Ten Percent Brain Myth

The Fact is: You use your entire brain

While its origins are uncertain, the myth that we only use ten percent of our brain has been shared as truth for a very long time. The factuality of this myth has been reinforced by misinterpretations and unsupported quotes from scientists, researchers, and laypeople over the past half century.

In actuality we use nearly our entire brain every day.

To illustrate brain use, imagine you are reading a book while eating a granola bar. While you are reading the words on each page your frontal lobes in the cerebral cortex are busy performing reasoning and thinking functions. At the same time, your parietal lobes are allowing you to enjoy your granola bar because these lobes are responsible for things like taste, texture detection, and smell. Meanwhile you’re able to process how you see the words in your book thanks to your occipital lobes and you are able to process the sounds that you hear, such as the rustling of the pages, because of your temporal lobes.

At the same time your brain is handling all of these functions and actions, your motor area is making you blink, you are holding your granola bar because of your cerebellum. You are also maintaining your posture, breathing, digesting, and circulating blood around your body all as a result of your brainstem. Your pituitary gland is simultaneously controlling your water and sugar levels, metabolism and hormonal functions. Furthermore, if you happen to be outdoors on a chilly day, your hypothalamus is accountable for your shivering in the colder weather.

Your hippocampus will help you store the words you are reading in your memory because this is the part of the brain responsible for transferring short-term memories to long-term memories. Ironically it is the part of the brain that is allowing you to remember this article about how much of your brain you use.