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Author Topic: Mysterious Unused Regions of the Brain?  (Read 6432 times)

Offline Titanscape

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Mysterious Unused Regions of the Brain?
« on: 22/01/2008 10:50:15 »
Scientists know that great portions, like 90% of the brain remains mysterious and unused. Operations which damage them, do not harm the patient. It is when the used part is nicked, it is terrible. Right?

So what are the unused portions?

What are they for?

Devices can watch brain activity.

And there are historical accidents, injuring the brains of people. Probably a wealth of them in the great wars.

We can stimulate brains and with powerful magnets, the reverse.

People examined praying in tongues, glossolalia, use some of those parts.

And how do evolutionists explain such large developments with little use?


Offline RD

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Mysterious Unused Regions of the Brain?
« Reply #1 on: 22/01/2008 14:50:03 »
Do I only use 10% of my brain?

You may have heard someone say we only use 10% of our brains. But it turns out this often repeated 'fact' isn't true.

As Dr Barry L Beyerstein points out in the book Mind Myths, if 90% of the brain is unused, it should be possible to damage large parts of someone’s brain without affecting their behaviour. However, there is essentially no part of the brain that can be damaged without corresponding changes in behaviour. Scientists know this from studying stroke patients and people with head wounds. Another reason scientists doubt the 10% claim is that brains scans show activity across our brains, even when we're sleeping. Finally, ponder this question: why would the human brain, an organ that requires a lot of the body's resources to function, evolve over millions of years and wind up being so inefficient?

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Mysterious Unused Regions of the Brain?
« Reply #2 on: 22/01/2008 15:15:18 »
The 10% of the brain myth, was first used in one of those self help book. It was a throw away line used to entice people in to buying the book. I forget the name of the book, but there is a topic about this...somewhere...

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Mysterious Unused Regions of the Brain?
« Reply #3 on: 22/01/2008 16:00:34 »
The human brain is one of the most complicated devices that you could think of. It's a very expensive organ - from a metabolic point of view. It takes a lot of energy to run the brain. Even though it weighs only about 2% of our body weight, it uses about 20% of our blood supply and 20% of our energy - and it generates about 20% of our heat. There are many myths about this mysterious organ. One persistent myth is that we really use only 10% of our brain - and that if we could use the remaining 90% we could each win a Nobel Prize or a gold medal at the Olympics, or even unleash our supposed psychic powers.

This myth has been going for nearly a century, and it keeps re-emerging. Over the last decade, some motivational speakers have shamelessly recycled this myth, and they claim that if you take their expensive course, you will suddenly be able to use all of your brainpower.

One of the earliest popular mentions of this myth is in Dale Carnegie's 1936 book, How To Win Friends and Influence People. He wanted to back up his claim that if you worked your brain just a little harder, you could improve your life enormously. Without any neurological proof whatsoever, he boldly claimed that most people used only 15% of their brains. His book sold very well indeed, so that helped push the myth.

Dale Carnegie might have got his misinformation by wrongly interpreting the experiments of a certain Karl Lashley, back in the 1920s. He was trying to find out just where in the brain this strange thing called "memory" is stored. He trained rats to run through mazes, and then measured how well they did as he removed more and more of the cortex of their brains. He found that memory is not stored in one single place, but exists throughout the entire cortex, and probably a few other places as well. In fact, his results showed that removal of any of the cortex caused memory problems. Karl Lashley's fairly-straightforward result was somehow changed to read that rats did fine until they had only 10% of their brains left. First, he never claimed that. Second, he never removed as much as 90% of the brain.

This myth has been constantly reinvented every decade or so. So one version might have that certified mega-brain, Albert Einstein, saying (guess what?) that "we use only 10% of our brain". But I have also heard the version where some anonymous scientist (who is never named) supposedly discovered that we use only 10% of our brain. Another version is that 10% of the mass of the brain is the conscious part of our brain, with the remaining 90% the subconscious part. (In reality, there is no such neat division.)

In the 1980s, Yorkshire TV in the UK showed a documentary called, Is Your Brain Really Necessary? It described the work of the late British neurologist, Professor John Lorber. He was a kids' doctor, and he saw many cases of hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus happens to about one of two kids out of every 1,000 kids that are born alive. There is a constant circulation of cerebro-spinal fluid around the brain and spinal cord. If too much fluid is produced, or if there is a blockage to its outflow from the brain, then it can build up inside the skull. This excess fluid usually makes the skull grow bigger, but sometimes it just makes the brain meat get thinner as the meat gets squashed up against the bony skull.

Professor Lorber discussed many cases where young people had not much brain, but normal intelligence. In one extraordinary case, a young man had only one millimeter thickness of gray matter in his brain, instead of the average 45 mm. Even so, he had an IQ of 126 (the average is 100) and had gained an honours degree in mathematics!

But this does not prove that most of your brain is useless. Instead, it shows that in some cases, the brain can recover from, or compensate for, quite major injuries.

The myth that we use only 10% of our brain is finally being proved untrue, because over the last few decades, we have invented new technologies (such as Positron Emission Tomography and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) that can show the metabolism of the brain. In any one single activity (talking, reading, walking, laughing, eating, looking, hearing, etc) we use only a few per cent of our brain - but over a 24-hour day, all the brain will light up on the scan.

In fact, if you did use all of your brain at the same time, you would probably have a Grand Mal epileptic fit. And finally, have you ever heard a doctor say, "Luckily, he had a stroke in that 90% of the brain we never use, so I think he'll be alright."?

© Karl S. Kruszelnicki Pty Ltd 2004.

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Mysterious Unused Regions of the Brain?
« Reply #3 on: 22/01/2008 16:00:34 »


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