How much of our brain do we actually use?

Have you ever been told that humans only use 10 percent of their brain then wondered how that would be possible? If so, you’re not alone since it is an old urban legend, or in this case, a Common Health neuroMyth.

Not only is it untrue, it has been routinely misattributed to many celebrities, the most famous being Albert Einstein, who, for the record, did not say that people only use 10 percent of their brain.

If you are curious as to where it came from, the misinformation was taken from Harvard psychologists William James and Boris Sidis who, in the 1890s after a tested theory, told an audience that people only meet a fraction of their full mental potential.

Somehow from that, it was “modernized” into becoming the 10 percent myth and oddly enough, 65 percent of Americans actually believe it. Could you imagine walking around with 90 percent of your brain not functioning?

Agreed, we’ve all had days that have felt that way, but the truth is we use 100 percent of our brain. Common techniques called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can measure brain use while you are performing different tasks.

From this, researchers have been able to determine that most of our brain is in use most of the time, even when we are sleeping. They have also found that the percentage of our brain in use varies from one person to another, and that even different tasks and / or thoughts change how much of our brain is being used.