Sunday, March 18, 2012

10% of Our Brain (Blog Post 2)

Myth that we only use 10% of Our Brains
Barry Beyerstien in our textbook talks about the popular myth that we only use 10% of our brains. It has been used to show that the human mind has paranormal abilities such as telepathy or psychokinesis. This myth may have been started by Harvard psychologist William James in the 1890s who said that "the average only develops 10% of its latent mental ability". Thus, the question at issue is whether or not we use 10% of our brains, and that we do have these unknowing capabilities as individuals. The assumptions taken for granted is that we only use 10% so that we must be more intelligent or powerful than we think we are.  I myself, have gotten pep talks and heard about this new phenomenon that we only use 10% of our brains, and I often felt cool, or more elevated about things once I did something wrong, under the impression that I was only using 10% of my brain! Concepts, theories, or data on the study is very slim. In fact, there is more information disproving the theory than proving it. When looking at brain damaged patients, once sees that they often lose partial abilities depending on what part of the brain is damaged such as the well known brain damage, Wernicke’s aphasia, who are able to speak with normal grammar, syntax, rate, intonation, and stress but they are unable to actually understand the language in its written or spoken form. So, they may something like my bus barks at the plate on my face. Another information that changes is also from the study of evolution that shows that if we only used 10% of our brain, than our brain that is not used could have been lost in our process of evolution.  Evolution is essentially, the process to make our species more willing to survive in the environment and rid of things that we do not need so that we are more of an efficient, or more survivable species of creatures. If we only used 10% of our brains, the other 90% must have gone out the window through natural selection because it is useless to us as creatures! Also, localization of the brain (the proof that different areas of the brain are responsible for different functions of the body), proves that if we only used 10% of our brain, than the rest would be completely useless and perhaps, our own motor skills would be severely lacking. Neurologists have proven time and time again that most of our motor skills and other abilities are from  different parts of the brain used together to make a team effort to successfully have our bodies create tasks. Implications or consequences of this belief is that we ourselves tend to overestimate our bodies and may fall for hoaxes that we only use 10% of our brain, such as those who perform elevation tricks on objects, etc. People could take advantage of our ignorance and use it to market different acts and products that are completely false. The reason why I think that the 10% of our brain myth continues today is because it gives the human being a sense of hope that perhaps, we are more than what we seem. Sometimes, we feel that our good is just not good enough, so myths such as this help boost our self esteem and ego. However, this could be a negative turn if we constantly underestimate ourselves thinking that we only use 10% of our brains because we could never reach our true potential. If we constantly think our true potential is not foremost there, we will never reach it, which would lead to individuals never setting new standards and ideals for themselves every day. Some people consider this myth to be an "urban legend" meaning that a friend of a friend said it, and it continues to live on through the word of mouth rather than publicity.   On the side is a summarization of the 10% myth. 

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