The granddaddy of all brain science myths, the claim that we only use 10 percent of our brains is so prevalent it’s practically cliché. But it’s total bunk.
“It turns out that we use virtually every part of the brain, and that [most of] the brain is active almost all the time,” John Hopkins School of Medicine neurologist Barry Gordon told Scientific American. “Let’s put it this way: the brain represents three percent of the body’s weight and uses 20 percent of the body’s energy.”
Most of that energy supports the intercommunication of millions of neurons that provide for higher functions, as well as control unconscious activities such as heart rate. While it’s true that at any given moment, each of the brain’s regions may not be concurrently firing, imaging technology has illustrated that over the course of a day, we use practically 100 percent of our brains.