Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Mixed Messages

Medical myths

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 20 December 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:1288

Rapid Response:

Brain power

Regarding the statement that we only use ten percent of our brain, I
don`t think that is what the original concept was. The original idea was
that we only use ten percent of our brain power, not our brain. I think
most people realize that our brain has different fuctions and that these
functions are scattered throughout, using more than ten percent. If only
ten percent was used, evolution would have given us smaller brains.
So the question remained unanswered. Just how much brain power do we use?
We see with idiot savants that their brain power is focused on music for
example. They can play classical music on the piano easily.
Our brains are used to do everything from walk and talk to think and
create. Are we using the full potential that our brain has to offer? If we
study hard or practise at something, our brain adapts and learns and the
task becomes easier. Obviously it seems the potential is greater and not
So do we only use ten percent of our brain power? Would it be possible to
use more? Or do we use all of the power of our brains? Is that all there

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

27 December 2007
Mark W. Goddard
self employed
Kelowna, BC Canada V1Y9H2