History Main / NinetyPercentOfYourBrain

24th Apr '16 8:12:03 PM easytorememberhandle
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* A ''ComicBooks/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica'' story by the same author (apparently Creator/GrantMorrison likes this one) revealed that millennia ago when man was still primitive, a group of White Martians came to Earth and deliberately tampered with their genetic code, reducing their brains and bodies to ten percent of their potential. Had the Martians not done this, it's implied that humans would be greater than the ''Kryptonians''.
14th Apr '16 7:22:32 AM DesertDragon
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This trope name comes from the oft-repeated but false assertion that humans only use 10 percent of their brains. In RealLife, we use ''all'' of our brains, just not all at the same time - in much the same way you don't have every electronic/mechanical item in your home running at all times; you only turn things on when you need to use them. If you ever do find yourself with every part of your brain "on" at the same time, congratulations, ''you're having a seizure!'' [[note]]More precisely, seizures occur because parts of the brain start firing off randomly. In some general seizures, the entire brain can have neuronal activity at once for brief moments.[[/note]]

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This trope name comes from the oft-repeated but false assertion that humans only use 10 percent of their brains. In RealLife, we use ''all'' of our brains, just not all at the same time - in much the same way you don't have every electronic/mechanical item in your home running at all times; you only turn things on when you need to use them. If you ever do find yourself with every part of your brain "on" at the same time, once, congratulations, ''you're having a seizure!'' [[note]]More precisely, seizures occur because parts of the brain start firing off randomly. In some general seizures, the entire brain can have neuronal activity at once for brief moments.[[/note]]
14th Apr '16 7:19:46 AM DesertDragon
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This trope name comes from the oft-repeated but false assertion that humans only use 10 percent of their brains. In RealLife, we use ''all'' of our brains, just not all at the same time - in much the same way that hitting a few specific notes on a piano can produce a beautiful symphony, as opposed to mashing them all at the same causing a crashing cacophony.

If you ever do find yourself with all the keys playing in your brain at the same time, congratulations, ''you're having a seizure!'' [[note]]More precisely, seizures occur because parts of the brain start firing off randomly. In some general seizures, the entire brain can have neuronal activity at once for brief moments.[[/note]]

Or think of it this way: if a business (your brain) decided to dedicate all of its offices to sales (thinking), there would be no departments left to run the other important aspects of the business -- production, payroll, human resources, maintenance, etc. Do you want to concentrate on keeping your heart beating or maintaining your balance? Nice it's doing that, huh? You're using those parts, you just don't consciously do so.

The origin of the myth may not even have anything to do with these facts about actual brain activity. It may be a distorted version of the more plausible claim or guess that we only use a fraction of our total ''mental capacity'', ie. we could potentially learn things more effectively and stuff. Even in this context, the number "10%" is totally arbitrary, bordering on TwentyPercentMoreAwesome.

A variation of the trope related to the above idea but again exaggerated into nonsense is to claim that our brains are only using 10% of their potential power, much like how a car driving at a tenth of its top speed would still be using the entire engine. The problem is that there's no valid way yet discovered to quantify what a human brain's "full potential" might be.

to:

This trope name comes from the oft-repeated but false assertion that humans only use 10 percent of their brains. In RealLife, we use ''all'' of our brains, just not all at the same time - in much the same way that hitting a few specific notes on a piano can produce a beautiful symphony, as opposed to mashing them you don't have every electronic/mechanical item in your home running at all at the same causing a crashing cacophony.

times; you only turn things on when you need to use them. If you ever do find yourself with all the keys playing in every part of your brain "on" at the same time, congratulations, ''you're having a seizure!'' [[note]]More precisely, seizures occur because parts of the brain start firing off randomly. In some general seizures, the entire brain can have neuronal activity at once for brief moments.[[/note]]

Or think of it this way: if a business (your brain) decided to dedicate all of its offices to sales (thinking), there would be no departments left to run the other important aspects of the business -- production, payroll, human resources, maintenance, etc. Do you want to concentrate on keeping your heart beating or maintaining your balance? Nice it's doing that, huh? You're using those parts, you just don't consciously do so.

The origin of the myth may not even have anything to do with these facts about actual brain activity. It may be a distorted version of the more plausible claim or guess that we only use a fraction of our total ''mental capacity'', ie. we could potentially learn things more effectively and stuff. Even in this context, the number "10%" is totally completely arbitrary, bordering on TwentyPercentMoreAwesome.

A variation of the trope related to the above idea but again exaggerated into nonsense is to claim that our brains are only using 10% of their potential power, much like how a car driving at a tenth of its top speed would still be using the entire engine. The problem is that there's no valid way yet discovered to quantify what a human brain's "full potential" might be.
TwentyPercentMoreAwesome.
10th Apr '16 11:53:01 PM Kytseo
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* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' does this, but with the chi-like chakra instead of brainpower. Rock Lee's ace in the hole is the ability to open various chakra gates that act like dams for the stuff, with opening enough of them putting him in a [[Anime/DragonballZ Kaio-Ken]]-esque SuperMode. The catch is that, if a ninja opened all the gates, he would suffer from a HeroicRedRingOfDeath.

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* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' does this, but with the chi-like chakra instead of brainpower. Rock Lee's ace in the hole is the ability to open various chakra gates that act like dams for the stuff, with opening enough of them putting him in a [[Anime/DragonballZ Kaio-Ken]]-esque SuperMode. The catch is that, if a ninja opened all the gates, he would suffer from a fatal HeroicRedRingOfDeath.
10th Apr '16 11:52:19 PM Kytseo
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* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' does this, but with the chi-like chakra instead of brainpower. Rock Lee's ace in the hole is the ability to open various chakra gates that act like dams for the stuff, with opening enough of them putting him in a [[Anime/DragonballZ Kaio-Ken]]-esque SuperMode. The catch is that, if a ninja opened all the gates, he would suffer from a HeroicRedRingOfDeath.
31st Mar '16 8:35:30 PM easytorememberhandle
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* In ''Franchise/ArchieComics'', Archie recites this statistic to his friends. [[TheDitz Moose]] exclaims that 10% is "almost less than half our brains". Archie muses if the statistic is too high in some cases.
16th Feb '16 3:45:48 AM LordInsane
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** Played with in that novel makes quite clear ''why'' humans only use a small percentage of their brain at any one time: using more is damaging to the person in question, to fatal levels (partly because, as opposed to the Mule's power mentioned above, once the Synapsifier has been used on a person the effect is permanent). Evidently those ninety percent are there to keep the brain running for year after year.

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** Played with in that novel makes quite clear ''why'' humans only use a small percentage of their brain at any one time: time (within the context of the setting): using more is damaging to the person in question, to fatal levels (partly because, as opposed to the Mule's power mentioned above, once the Synapsifier has been used on a person the effect is permanent). Evidently those ninety percent are there to keep the brain running for year after year.
28th Dec '15 9:00:07 PM DarkHunter
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* Played straight in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'', as the eponymous character has a PhotographicMemory, and can only retain 1 year of memory in her mind, because 85% of it is taken up with an eidetic recollection of the [[NeuroVault complete contents of 103,000 spellbooks]]. [[spoiler:That is, until it gets subverted with a sledgehammer when a professor reveals that the "15% left over for a year's memories" is complete BS and ''gives a proper explanation of how the mind works'' in the series. Cue SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome as the hero realizes that he's been played for a sucker.]]
** The main character even realizes he's a sucker when he does the math: if a year's worth of memories really took up 15% of your brain, you'd max out around age 7 and not be able to ever remember anything new.

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* Played straight in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'', as the eponymous character has a PhotographicMemory, and can only retain 1 year of memory in her mind, because 85% of it is taken up with an eidetic recollection of the [[NeuroVault complete contents of 103,000 spellbooks]]. [[spoiler:That That is, until it gets subverted with a sledgehammer when a professor reveals that the "15% left over for a year's memories" is complete BS and ''gives a proper explanation of how the mind works'' in the series. Cue SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome as the hero realizes that he's been played for a sucker.]]
**
The main character even realizes he's been played for a sucker fool when he does the math: if a year's worth of memories really took up 15% of your brain, you'd max out around age 7 and not be able to ever remember anything new.
28th Dec '15 8:59:09 PM DarkHunter
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** The main character even realizes he's a sucker when he does the math: if 15% = 1 year then you would die around the age of 7.

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** The main character even realizes he's a sucker when he does the math: if a year's worth of memories really took up 15% = 1 year then you would die of your brain, you'd max out around the age of 7.7 and not be able to ever remember anything new.
5th Dec '15 2:36:50 AM Tuckerscreator
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* In the 2009 film ''Film/RaceToWitchMountain'', the extraterrestrial humans Sarah and Seth have access to telekinesis, telepathy, and phasing, which Sarah states the humans on Earth can not use yet, because they "haven't learned to use that part of [their] brain yet." Ironically, in an interview with Creator/AnnaSophiaRobb, who plays Sarah, she confirmed that the director wrote that line in because he wanted to be "as scientifically accurate as possible." It might actually be justified; Sarah doesn't say it's a large part of the brain.

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* In the 2009 film ''Film/RaceToWitchMountain'', the extraterrestrial humans Sarah and Seth have access to telekinesis, telepathy, and phasing, which Sarah states the humans on Earth can not use yet, because they "haven't learned to use that part of [their] brain yet." Ironically, in an interview with Creator/AnnaSophiaRobb, who plays Sarah, she confirmed that the director wrote that line in because he wanted to be "as scientifically accurate as possible." It might actually be justified; Sarah doesn't say it's a large part of the brain.
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