Hoeveel procent van je brein gebruik je?

door: Wtjes.nl 30 July 2011


Dat je maar 10% gebruikt is een weidverspreide mythe. Bijkomend bij deze mythe is dat je het door meer dan 10% te gebruiken je ongekende intelligentie zou kunnen aanboren.
Hoewel bepaalde aspecten van intelligentie kunnen toenemen door training. Is het idee dat grote delen van de je hersenen ongebruikt zijn onwaar, we weten van elk deel van de heren precies wat het doet.

 Neuroloog Barry Gordon beschrijfte de mythe als absurd; "We gebruiken letterlijk elk gedeelte van de hersenen en het grootste gedeelte van de hersenen is continue actief".

Een andere neuroloog Barry Beyerstein geeft zeven vaststaande aanwijzingen waaruit blijkt dat de 10% mythe onwaar is:

  • Studies of brain damage: If 90% of the brain is normally unused, then damage to these areas should not impair performance. Instead, there is almost no area of the brain that can be damaged without loss of abilities. Even slight damage to small areas of the brain can have profound effects.
  • Evolution: The brain is enormously costly to the rest of the body, in terms of oxygen and nutrient consumption. It can require up to twenty percent of the body's energy--more than any other organ--despite making up only 2% of the human body by weight. If 90% of it were unnecessary, there would be a large survival advantage to humans with smaller, more efficient brains. If this were true, the process of natural selection would have eliminated the inefficient brains. By the same token, it is also highly unlikely that a brain with so much redundant matter would have evolved in the first place.
  • Brain imaging: Technologies such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allow the activity of the living brain to be monitored. They reveal that even during sleep, all parts of the brain show some level of activity. Only in the case of serious damage does a brain have "silent" areas.
  • Localization of function: Rather than acting as a single mass, the brain has distinct regions for different kinds of information processing. Decades of research have gone into mapping functions onto areas of the brain, and no function-less areas have been found.
  • Microstructural analysis: In the single-unit recording technique, researchers insert a tiny electrode into the brain to monitor the activity of a single cell. If 90% of cells were unused, then this technique would have revealed that.
  • Metabolic studies: Another scientific technique involves studying the take-up of radioactively labelled 2-deoxyglucose molecules by the brain. If 90 percent of the brain were inactive, then those inactive cells would show up as blank areas in a radiograph of the brain. Again, there is no such result.
  • Neural disease: Brain cells that are not used have a tendency to degenerate. Hence if 90% of the brain were inactive, autopsy of adult brains would reveal large-scale degeneration.

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