Archive | October, 2019

The 10 percent of the brain myth

13 Oct

Lucy is a 2014 English-language French science fiction action film written and directed by Luc Besson, which stars Scarlett Johansson. Johansson portrays the titular character, a woman who gains psychokinetic abilities when a nootropic drug is absorbed into her bloodstream. At the time the film received positive, but also polarizing, critical reviews. Although praise was given for its themes, visuals, and Johansson’s performance, a number of critics found the plot nonsensical, especially its focus on the ‘ten percent of the brain myth’ and resulting abilities. This is a widely perpetuated urban legend that most or all humans only use 10 percent (or some other small percentage) of their brains. It has been misattributed to many people, including Albert Einstein. By extrapolation, it is suggested that a person may harness this unused potential and increase intelligence. However, the popular notion that large parts of the brain remain unused, and could subsequently be “activated”, rests in folklore and not science. Though specific mechanisms regarding brain function remain to be fully described e.g. memory, consciousness etc. the physiology of brain mapping suggests that all areas of the brain have a function.

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