Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Limited Brain Use

Chapter 3.1 of the textbook, Whence Cometh the Myth That We Only Use 10% of Our Brains?, immediately had me thinking of two movies; one movie I have already seen, and one that I keep seeing trailers of on TV commercials.  The movie Limitless starring Bradley Cooper, and the movie Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman would be the two movies, respectively.  Both movies’ plots are centered on the main character somehow ingesting a drug that enables them to access their brains full potential.  Limitless claims humans have access to 20% of their brain, and Lucy claims humans have access to 10% of their brain.  In Limitless, the main character doesn’t get any nonhuman powers, but his ability to think, do math, write, etc. greatly improves.  In Lucy, the main character has more and more powers as her access increases such as moving objects with her mind and making everything stop moving.  The plots are examples of the factoid, as defined by the textbook, that humans only have the ability to access or use 10% of their brain.  By calling this idea a factoid, it is understood that there is no evidence to support the idea or getting the evidence to support the idea is not possible. 
If there is no evidence in support, then how do these kinds of ideas stay alive? The textbook answers this question and discusses how an idea like this gives people the hope that they have more potential they’re just not capable of obtaining.  The two movies that I immediately thought of after just reading the title to the textbook section are another answer to this question.  By centering a movie’s storyline around this idea, true or not, will help to continue belief in this factoid.  Millions of people will watch these movies, and if some people have heard of this myth that we can only use a certain percentage of our brains, seeing a movie that says it’s true and shows what happens once we can access it may influence a person to believe even more.   

Here are the trailers to both movies!

Lucy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN7ksFEVO9U

I also recently came across a video talking about 7 common myths about the brain.  One of the myths discussed in the video is that humans only use 10% of their brain.
Here's the video:

1 comment:

  1. I saw the trailer for Lucy yesterday and I am a little sad you beat me to this post! You’re right, the movie does claim that we use 10% of our brain. I also noticed at one point, Lucy’s hair changes right before our eyes, from her messy, blonde bob to a sleek, black, shoulder-length hair. This made me wonder that, if we were able to access 100% of our brains, would we be able to alter our own bodies in a similar manner? For example, there are plenty of articles on the internet with home remedies for longer hair, softer skin, lighter eyes, etc. but these attributes are all results of our genetics. My hair, for instance, is not genetically prone to grow quickly. It can take me years to grow out my hair. If we were able to access 100% of our brains, do you think we would be able to do things like this?

    See video: 1:40 for body changes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN7ksFEVO9U