Here’s a question from Mexico – about how much of the human brain actually gets used.
Pamela Zamora: Why do we use such a small percentage of our brains?
That was Pamela Zamora from Secundaria Ovalle Monday. And with an answer …
Jay Giedd: Thanks, Pamela. It’s a very good question because it allows me to address one of the most common misunderstandings about our brains. I’m Dr. Jay Giedd, chief of brain imaging at the Child Psychiatry Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health. The truth is that we use 100% of our brains, even when we’re sleeping. Maybe the idea behind this notion that we only use a small percent of our brains – is that we all have the potential to learn more and accomplish more. And I think that’s basically true. But it’s not because a large part of our brain is not being used.
Giedd said even simple tasks, like pushing a button, involve almost all the parts of the brain.
Jay Giedd: It’s never a matter of one part of the brain being active and the others being inactive, or asleep. It’s always a matter of some more active than others, depending on what tasks we’re doing.
Our thanks to Pamela Zamora and Dr. Jay Giedd.
Our thanks to the Monsanto Fund, bridging the gap between people and their resources.
Our thanks to:
Dr. Jay Giedd
Chief of Brain Imaging
National Institute of Mental Health
Learning to love science. As a producer for EarthSky, Lindsay Patterson interviews some of the world's most fascinating scientists. Through EarthSky, her work content is syndicated on some of the world's top media websites, including USAToday.com and Reuters.com. Patterson is also charged with helping to stay in steady communication with the thousands of scientists who contribute to EarthSky's work of making the voice of science heard in a noisy world. She graduated from Colorado College with a degree in creative writing, and a keen interest in all forms of journalism and media.