smartgirlsattheparty

NPR Science: Sorry, Lucy: The Myth Of The Misused Brain Is 100 Percent False

  • ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:
  • If you went to the movie theater this weekend, you might've caught the latest Scarlett Johansson action movie called "Lucy." It's about a woman who develops superpowers by harnessing the full potential of her brain.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LUCY")
  • SCARLETT JOHANSSON: I'm able to do things I've never done before. I feel everything and I can control the elements around me.
  • UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That's amazing.
  • WESTERVELT: You've probably heard this idea before. Most people only use 10% of their brains. The other 90% of the basically dormant. Well, in the movie "Lucy," Morgan Freeman gives us this what-if scenario?
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LUCY")
  • MORGAN FREEMAN: What if there was a way of accessing 100% of our brain? What might we be capable of?
  • DAVID EAGLEMAN: We would be capable of exactly what we're doing now, which is to say, we do use a hundred percent of our brain.
  • WESTERVELT: That is David Eagleman.
  • EAGLEMAN: I'm a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine.
  • WESTERVELT: And he says, basically, all of us are like Lucy. We use all of our brains, all of time.
  • EAGLEMAN: Even when you're just sitting around doing nothing your brain is screaming with activity all the time, around the clock; even when you're asleep it's screaming with activity.
  • WESTERVELT: In other words, this is a total myth. Very wrong, but still very popular. Take this clip from an Ellen DeGeneres stand-up special.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF STAND-UP SPECIAL)
  • ELLEN DEGENERES: It's true, they say we use ten percent of our brain. Ten percent of our brain. And I think, imagine what we could accomplish if we used the other 60 percent? Do you know what I'm saying?
  • AUDIENCE: (LAUGHTER).
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TOMMY BOY")
  • DAVID SPADE: Let's say the average person uses ten percent of their brain.
  • WESTERVELT: It's even in the movie "Tommy Boy."
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TOMMY BOY")
  • SPADE: How much do you use? One and a half percent. The rest is clogged with malted hops and bong residue.
  • WESTERVELT: Ariana Anderson is a researcher at UCLA. She looks at brain scans all day long. And she says, if someone were actually using just ten percent of their brain capacity...
  • ARIANA ANDERSON: Well, they would probably be declared brain-dead.
  • WESTERVELT: Sorry, "Tommy Boy." No one knows exactly where this myth came from but it's been around since at least the early 1900's. So why is this wrong idea still so popular?
  • ANDERSON: Probably gives us some sort of hope that if we are doing things we shouldn't do, such as watching too much TV, alcohol abuse, well, it might be damaging our brain but it's probably damaging the 90 percent that we don't use. And that's not true. Whenever you're doing something that damages your brain, it's damaging something that's being used, and it's going to leave some sort of deficit behind.
  • EAGLEMAN: For a long time I've wondered, why is this such a sticky myth?
  • WESTERVELT: Again, David Eagleman.
  • EAGLEMAN: And I think it's because it gives us a sense that there's something there to be unlocked, that we could be so much better than we could. And really, this has the same appeal as any fairytale or superhero story. I mean, it's the neural equivalent to Peter Parker becoming Spiderman.
  • WESTERVELT: In other words, it's an idea that belongs in Hollywood.
memewhore

urulokid:

freddyskrueger:

toocooltobehipster:

3 year old death grip!

omfg

iM LAUGHING SO HARD BC THE BROTHER IS STARING AT HER LIKE “OMFG” AND SHES STANIDNG BACK THERE HOLDING HER HANDS LIKE “i never knew what i was capable of, my powers are here”

goodstuffhappenedtoday
goodstuffhappenedtoday:

Sixth-Grader’s Science Fair Finding Shocks Ecologists

When 12-year-old Lauren Arrington heard about her sixth-grade science project, she knew she wanted to study lionfish. Growing up in Jupiter, Fla., she saw them in the ocean while snorkeling and fishing with her dad.
Her project showed that the lionfish can survive in nearly fresh water. The results blew away professional ecologists. The invasive species has no predators on the Florida coast, so if they were to migrate upstream in rivers, they could pose a threat to the ecosystem.
"Scientists were doing plenty of tests on them, but they just always assumed they were in the ocean," Lauren, now 13, tells NPR’s Kelly McEvers. "So I was like, ‘Well, hey guys, what about the river?’ "In the beginning, she wanted to conduct her test by placing the lionfish in cages at different points in the river, but she had to simplify the project.
"It was just a small, sixth-grade project, and I really didn’t have all the tools necessary," she says. Her dad, who has a Ph.D. in fish ecology, suggested that she put the fish in tanks instead.
Lauren then put six different lionfish in six different tanks where she could watch her subjects closely. Lauren was given a strict set of rules by the science fair organizers. The most important one: Her fish could not die.
Lionfish had been found to live in water with salt levels of 20 parts per thousand. But no one knew that they could live in water salinity below that.
One of the six lionfish was her control fish, and the rest were the experimental fish. Every night for eight days, she would lower the salinity 5 parts per thousand in the experimental tanks. On the eighth day of her experiment, she found her experimental fish were living at 6 parts per thousand. She was amazed.
Her research did not stop there. Craig Layman, an ecology professor at North Carolina State University, confirmed Lauren’s results. “He credited a sixth-grader for coming up with his idea,” Lauren says ecstatically. Layman’s findings were published this year in the science journal Environmental Biology of Fishes. Lauren is mentioned in the acknowledgments.
Lauren’s father says he talks about science with her a lot. “We’re a science bunch of dorks in our family,” he tells McEvers.

goodstuffhappenedtoday:

Sixth-Grader’s Science Fair Finding Shocks Ecologists

When 12-year-old Lauren Arrington heard about her sixth-grade science project, she knew she wanted to study lionfish. Growing up in Jupiter, Fla., she saw them in the ocean while snorkeling and fishing with her dad.

Her project showed that the lionfish can survive in nearly fresh water. The results blew away professional ecologists. The invasive species has no predators on the Florida coast, so if they were to migrate upstream in rivers, they could pose a threat to the ecosystem.

"Scientists were doing plenty of tests on them, but they just always assumed they were in the ocean," Lauren, now 13, tells NPR’s Kelly McEvers. "So I was like, ‘Well, hey guys, what about the river?’ "

In the beginning, she wanted to conduct her test by placing the lionfish in cages at different points in the river, but she had to simplify the project.

"It was just a small, sixth-grade project, and I really didn’t have all the tools necessary," she says. Her dad, who has a Ph.D. in fish ecology, suggested that she put the fish in tanks instead.

Lauren then put six different lionfish in six different tanks where she could watch her subjects closely. Lauren was given a strict set of rules by the science fair organizers. The most important one: Her fish could not die.

Lionfish had been found to live in water with salt levels of 20 parts per thousand. But no one knew that they could live in water salinity below that.

One of the six lionfish was her control fish, and the rest were the experimental fish. Every night for eight days, she would lower the salinity 5 parts per thousand in the experimental tanks. On the eighth day of her experiment, she found her experimental fish were living at 6 parts per thousand. She was amazed.

Her research did not stop there. Craig Layman, an ecology professor at North Carolina State University, confirmed Lauren’s results. “He credited a sixth-grader for coming up with his idea,” Lauren says ecstatically. Layman’s findings were published this year in the science journal Environmental Biology of Fishes. Lauren is mentioned in the acknowledgments.

Lauren’s father says he talks about science with her a lot. “We’re a science bunch of dorks in our family,” he tells McEvers.