What percent of our brain do we use and which side?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There is a common belief that the average human only uses a small percentage of his or her brain.  The common number associated with this is 10%.  This leads us to believe that incredibly smart people like Albert Einstein are as smart as they are because they are able to somehow tap into the rest of their brain's potential and utilize it unlike the common person.  Modern research has shown this to be false.  Scientists can actually monitor brain activity and see not only how the brain acts under different circumstances, but what parts of the brain are being used as well.  In reality, everyone uses all parts of their brain at different times for different tasks.  While it is true that lying down to take a nap or watch TV utilizes only a small portion of your brain, the reality is that basic daily human activity utilizes 100% of the human brain. 

Also, the whole left side versus right side of the brain is not really useful here.  While the brain is divided into different parts and these different parts do perform different functions, it is not accurate to talk about only using the left or right side of the brain because in reality both sides and all parts of the brain are constantly used in conjunction with one another to perform daily tasks.

So we use 100% of our brain, on both sides, all parts.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Advances in technology have shown that we use all (100%) of our brain, although it may not be used all at the same time.  The parts of the brain used depends upon the function you are trying to preform. The claim that we only use 10% of our brain is a myth.  Additionally, unless there is damage to or a part of the brain is removed, we use both sides of the brain, again depending on the task. The corpus callosum makes it possible for the right and left hemispheres of our brains to communicate.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial