The upcoming Scarlett Johansson film Lucy recycles the tired, tired premise of OMG what if people used more than 10 percent of their brains?! It’s not just that the plotline has been done before (and recently, too — it was the central conceit of the 2011 Bradley Cooper vehicle Limitless). It’s that it’s not even true; the idea that we only use 10 percent of our brains is so off base that neurologists call the idea laughable.
The guys over at AsapSCIENCE posted a good video yesterday busting this and six other brain myths (you aren’t “left-brained” or “right-brained, and you have more than five senses). Through modern brain imaging technology, scientists know that sometimes, some parts of your brain are busier than others — when you’re walking, for example, the brain regions associated with movement are more active. But your brain doesn’t contain a single layabout, do-nothing part; it’s so busy it requires 20 percent of your body’s energy, more than any other single organ, despite accounting for just 2 percent of its weight.
The “10 percent” idea probably persists because it’s nice to believe that your mind contains unlocked potential. Sadly, it’s just a myth; all you’ve got is what you’ve got.