NPR Science: Sorry, Lucy: The Myth Of The Misused Brain Is 100 Percent False

  • ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:
  • If you went to the movie theater this weekend, you might've caught the latest Scarlett Johansson action movie called "Lucy." It's about a woman who develops superpowers by harnessing the full potential of her brain.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LUCY")
  • SCARLETT JOHANSSON: I'm able to do things I've never done before. I feel everything and I can control the elements around me.
  • UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That's amazing.
  • WESTERVELT: You've probably heard this idea before. Most people only use 10% of their brains. The other 90% of the basically dormant. Well, in the movie "Lucy," Morgan Freeman gives us this what-if scenario?
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LUCY")
  • MORGAN FREEMAN: What if there was a way of accessing 100% of our brain? What might we be capable of?
  • DAVID EAGLEMAN: We would be capable of exactly what we're doing now, which is to say, we do use a hundred percent of our brain.
  • WESTERVELT: That is David Eagleman.
  • EAGLEMAN: I'm a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine.
  • WESTERVELT: And he says, basically, all of us are like Lucy. We use all of our brains, all of time.
  • EAGLEMAN: Even when you're just sitting around doing nothing your brain is screaming with activity all the time, around the clock; even when you're asleep it's screaming with activity.
  • WESTERVELT: In other words, this is a total myth. Very wrong, but still very popular. Take this clip from an Ellen DeGeneres stand-up special.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF STAND-UP SPECIAL)
  • ELLEN DEGENERES: It's true, they say we use ten percent of our brain. Ten percent of our brain. And I think, imagine what we could accomplish if we used the other 60 percent? Do you know what I'm saying?
  • AUDIENCE: (LAUGHTER).
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TOMMY BOY")
  • DAVID SPADE: Let's say the average person uses ten percent of their brain.
  • WESTERVELT: It's even in the movie "Tommy Boy."
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TOMMY BOY")
  • SPADE: How much do you use? One and a half percent. The rest is clogged with malted hops and bong residue.
  • WESTERVELT: Ariana Anderson is a researcher at UCLA. She looks at brain scans all day long. And she says, if someone were actually using just ten percent of their brain capacity...
  • ARIANA ANDERSON: Well, they would probably be declared brain-dead.
  • WESTERVELT: Sorry, "Tommy Boy." No one knows exactly where this myth came from but it's been around since at least the early 1900's. So why is this wrong idea still so popular?
  • ANDERSON: Probably gives us some sort of hope that if we are doing things we shouldn't do, such as watching too much TV, alcohol abuse, well, it might be damaging our brain but it's probably damaging the 90 percent that we don't use. And that's not true. Whenever you're doing something that damages your brain, it's damaging something that's being used, and it's going to leave some sort of deficit behind.
  • EAGLEMAN: For a long time I've wondered, why is this such a sticky myth?
  • WESTERVELT: Again, David Eagleman.
  • EAGLEMAN: And I think it's because it gives us a sense that there's something there to be unlocked, that we could be so much better than we could. And really, this has the same appeal as any fairytale or superhero story. I mean, it's the neural equivalent to Peter Parker becoming Spiderman.
  • WESTERVELT: In other words, it's an idea that belongs in Hollywood.

ghdos:

invisiblelad:

evolutia:

swallowthatshit:

gang0fwolves:

wussut:

sizvideos:

4 Year Old Foils Babysitter’s Robbery Plot - Video

Let’s just blame the black guy…

believe a little girl in 30 seconds but won’t believe the black man after 5 hours….lol ok.

Says a lot.

It really does. I think it’s wonderful that she told that truth however, this is a prime example of white privilege. At 4 years old, she actually had systematic power over the fate of a Black male. White privilege is a very real and impactful thing.

I know that this story is heartwarming in it’s own way. Yes, the 4 year old has more in the way of ethical fiber in her pinky than her babysitter has in her whole body. Yes, it’s case closed on a wrongfully accused case that could have had very serious consequences for the neighbor involved…

but there’s something really chilling about an otherwise law abiding citizen being arrested and questioned in handcuffs for 5 hours on the casual implication of a 17 year old. 

Shit like this angers me.

(via theblackoaksyndicate)

deafphalanges:

still  some trouble with perspective

foreverpruned:

yungmethuselah:

ikazed:

youngblackandvegan:

black excellence

No, human excellence.

Let’s talk about set theory! In mathematical logic, we have a subfield called “set theory” where we study how items are collected into groups.

Providing a sort of logical bedrock, set theory informs foundational mathematics and computer science, among other fields, and continues to be a topic of mathematical research.

Sound too esoteric? Okay, you’re familiar with Venn diagrams, right? Venn diagrams are an example of basic set theory.

image

And you know how all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares? There we go, more set theory.

So, Black people are group within the larger group humans, i.e. all Black people are humans, BUT not all humans are Black people.

As you can see in the photograph above, Keven Stonewall, the Chicago teen who may cure colon cancer, is Black. Keven Stonewall’s membership in other groups such as humans, Chicagoans and teenagers occurs simultaneously; consider “Chicago teen.”

Why do we say “square” when we could say “rectangle”? Because “square” conveys useful information,
including “rectangle”—as well as a refinement.

When we say Keven Stonewall is an example of Black excellence, we mean Keven Stonewall is an example of Black excellence.

YAAASSS Bitch read ha!!! Let ha know!!!

(Source: tsunamiwavesurfing, via womanistgamergirl)

nokiabae:

M.I.A. // Bring The Noize

White is a mixture of seven different colours hence it symbolises a little bit of the quality of each. It represents purity, cleanliness, peace and knowledge. The goddess of knowledge, Saraswati is always shown as wearing a white dress, sitting on a white lotus. Hindu religious leaders cover themselves with white ashes to represent their spiritual rebirth.

People don’t want to believe this generation is pure, especially if you’re black or brown.

(via khoffsizurp)

kat-blaque:

bobsagetsanalhazard:

newwavefeminism:

katblaque:

Something I did tonight because this post made me so angry

#colorism #frenchgirlsapp #racism #art #blackwomen

Kat Blaque 

yeah I just downloaded that app, now ima delete it…

Yo, what if they tried really hard to make it look like her and they were just trying the best they could? Maybe their best isn’t exactly right, maybe they’re super innocent and you’re all jumping to conclusions, being dicks, and generally ignorant fucks?

What if white settlers were just trying to make friends? What of they were just trying to be nice! Maybe they didn’t mean it and you’re all being ignorant dicks!!

(via skraightgangsterism)

blackfashion:

Carley20Philadelphia

micdotcom:

1.3B tons of food is lost or goes to waste a year. A French market may have found a solution

Follow micdotcom

anarchacannibalism:

'have u considerde that some people dotn' think any trans women are attractive adn thats ok'

have u considered that i am a midnight death queen with a mouth full of blood and a fist full of stars and i will drag your tired empire into the dirt and eat its fucking heart

have u considered that i am a midnight death queen with a mouth full of blood and a fist full of stars and i will drag your tired empire into the dirt and eat its fucking heart

(via tylerthelatteboy)

black-boys:

Roze Traore by Bell Soto | Hello Mr. Magazine Issue 3

Styled by Seth Howard

ourafrica:

So much respect! #FreePalestine

(via theafrikahnpoet)

fallen-inspiration:

BREAKING NEWS

Israel has begun it’s campaign in launching the biggest ground assault on Gaza in more than 5 years.

The people of Gaza have absolutely no chance at this point. Israel will do anything to wipe Gaza off the planet. WE MUST TAKE ACTION. BOOST

(via theblackoaksyndicate)

I’m thankful to tumblr

dynastylnoire:

substancesauce:

howtobeterrell:

because without it i wouldnt have found a community of black folk all over the diaspora who i could learn and grow from 

10X

image

(via bitchcraftandwiggatry)

lapetitecole:

Midnight On a New York Subway, Bound for Harlem, 1956

Henri Cartier-Bresson

(Source: mpdrolet, via crissle)