Skip to main content

What percentage of your brain do you use? - Richard E. Cytowic


26,188 Questions Answered

TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

Two thirds of the population believes a myth that has been propagated for over a century: that we use only 10% of our brains. Hardly! Our neuron-dense brains have evolved to use the least amount of energy while carrying the most information possible -- a feat that requires the entire brain. Richard E. Cytowic debunks this neurological myth (and explains why we aren’t so good at multitasking).

Additional Resources for you to Explore

This article from explains the origins of the 10% myth.
HowStuffWorks published an article about the top 10 brain myths.
In the same way, this article by Neuroscience for Kids talks about the 10% myth.
The brain is what makes us function, yet we understand so little about how it works. We are learning more about the brain by using new technology to monitor epilepsy patients during surgery. Moran Cerf explains the process doctors use to explore the brain further.
Zombies eat brains. They are also, like all of us, driven by brain functions. What is happening in their brains to make them act as they do? In this intriguing dialogue, Tim Verstynen & Bradley Voytek apply the various human medical possibilities that make zombies...zombies.
What does your brain react to sugar intake? When you eat something loaded with sugar, your taste buds, your gut and your brain all take notice. This activation of your reward system is not unlike how bodies process addictive substances such as alcohol or nicotine -- an overload of sugar spikes dopamine levels and leaves you craving more. Nicole Avena explains why sweets and treats should be enjoyed in moderation.
See Richard's lesson on synesthesia here.

Next Section »

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Richard E. Cytowic
  • Director Hector Herrera
  • Producer Pazit Cahlon
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

More from Mind Matters