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Do We Really Use 10% Of Our Brain? The Truth About How Much Brainpower We Really Use

picture of a brain in the style of Salvador Dali


The “10% brain myth” – the idea that we only use 10% of our brain – is a popular belief that has been around for more than a century. Despite being debunked by scientists, this myth persists in popular culture. In this article, we will examine the evidence and discover the truth about how much of our brain we actually use, and how this myth has been debunked by scientific evidence.

The Origins of the Myth

The origin of the 10% brain myth is uncertain. Some attribute it to the work of psychologist William James in the late 1800s, while others trace it back to a misinterpretation of a statement made by Albert Einstein. Despite its uncertain origins, the myth has been popularized by various books, movies, and TV shows over the years.

Evidence Against the Myth

One of the main pieces of evidence against the 10% brain myth is the fact that brain damage can lead to specific deficits. If we only used 10% of our brain, it is unlikely that specific brain damage would result in specific deficits in cognitive abilities.

Studies have also shown that different areas of the brain are active at different times. This provides further evidence that we use much more than just 10% of our brain.

Furthermore, scientists have done research using brain imaging techniques like PET scans and fMRI. Their findings have revealed that all brain regions have been found to be active during a wide variety of tasks. These tasks include language, memory, vision, and movement. This means that nearly all of the brain is active almost all of the time.

Active Role of the Whole Brain

While certain areas of the brain may be more active during specific tasks, the idea that we only use 10% of our brain is a gross oversimplification of how the brain works. The brain is a highly interconnected organ, with different regions working together to perform complex tasks. Studies in neuroplasticity have shown that the brain is highly adaptable. In addition, new connections can be formed between brain cells even in adulthood, which further debunks the 10% brain myth.


The idea that we only use 10% of our brain is a common misconception that has been disproven by scientific evidence. In reality, the brain is an incredibly complex organ that works together as a whole to perform various tasks. Research has shown that multiple areas of the brain are engaged during even the most routine tasks. Furthermore, neuroplasticity research has demonstrated the brain’s ability to adapt and form new connections in response to new experiences.

In the context of piano tuning and teaching, we must recognize the brain’s adaptability in order to create effective learning experiences for our students. When tuning a piano, attention to detail and precision are essential. These skills are controlled by various regions of the brain. Additionally, for older folks, the brain is still adapting and changing in response to new experiences. Therefore, it’s important to continue to learn in order to fully realize the potential of the brain.

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