Ultimately, the answer is no. While 10% of cortical neurons are sending 50% of all the spikes, that’s only known to be the case in the cerebral cortex. The subcortical brain regions, like the brainstem and limbic system, on the other hand, show a different pattern entirely.
Also, the myth that we use only 10% of our brains often implies that, if we could use 100%, we would be 10x smarter, or something like that. But that is incorrect. Activating all your neurons at once would resemble a seizure and could result in death. That is, there are good computational and evolutionary reasons that the cortex works in this way.
In this episode of the Thinking Tools Podcast, I speak with Dr. Mark Humphries, author of the 2021 book, “The Spike: An Epic Journey Through the Brain in 2.1 Seconds,” about this problem, which he calls “the dark neuron problem” and other fascinating facts about your brain.
Mark Humphries is a computational neuroscientist and writer. His lab at the University of Nottingham, UK, researches how groups of neurons collectively encode information about the past, present, or future, in order to guide behaviour. He writes about systems neuroscience for a broad audience at Medium.
Check out the full episode! https://youtu.be/bbsyYThAjCY
Thanks for your time and I hope you have a great weekend.
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About Sense of Mind
My goal: Give you an accurate and clear picture of how the brain and mind work at various levels of analysis. I do that by carefully reading and reporting the science as I understand it.