The brain is the body’s biggest powerhouse. With around a hundred billion neurons, it handles all our actions and helps us perceive the world around us. According to scientists, the functions of the brain are limitless. Hence, it’s no wonder that some people believe we only use 10% of our brain but is this true?
How Much of Our Brain Do We Use?
Many people believe that we only use ten percent of our brains. However, this is a misconception, as a massive proportion of our brains remain operational at all times. Research in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience also disproved the 10% theory.
Scientists have tried to measure if our minds work at all times, even when performing simple tasks, and the conclusion is that it does. Techniques they’ve used include functional magnetic resonance imaging, sometimes known as fMRI. This standard method of imaging the brain can detect activity in a person’s brain while that person is engaged in other activities.
Even when at rest or sleeping, a large portion of the brain continues to function. Everyone has a unique average proportion of brain activity at any given time. Also relevant is the individual’s state of mind or activity.
The Origin of the 10% Myth
The origin of this misconception is obscure but could have arisen from a few different places. For instance, William James, a psychologist, and novelist, argued in an article for the journal Science, published in 1907 that people generally only used a percentage of their brains. But he didn’t give a number or percentage.
Nevertheless, this myth has been perpetuated in numerous media forms, including books, movies, and television shows, which may contribute to its widespread acceptance as fact.
How Can You Improve Your Brain Function?
Good nutrition is essential to a long and healthy life. Furthermore, it lowers the probability of getting cardiovascular disease and middle-aged obesity, both of which have been linked to an increased risk of dementia.
In addition, fruits and veggies with dark skins, fish high in omega-3s, walnuts, and pecans are all good for your brain because their high levels of antioxidants are beneficial to your mental health and wellbeing.
In addition to lowering the risk of developing health issues that could eventually contribute to dementia, regular exercise also has other health benefits. Just 30 minutes a day of cardiovascular exercises, such as brisk walking, can help lower the risk of cognitive decline.
Keep Your Brain Active
Your cognitive abilities improve with regular mental exercise. To this end, it’s important to keep your brain healthy by engaging in regular brain training exercises.