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Re: The Brain

At 09:35 PM 10/1/97 -0700, you wrote:
>I grew up with the notion that dinosaurs were supposed to be stupid, for
>example Diplodocus had a small head , and a small brain. Since humans only
>use what 10 or 15 % of our brains
>true potential,

UGH!  Folklore alert, folklore alert!!

Despite the fact that everyone "knows" this, it is not true.  What the ~15%
value refers to is the fact that only some fraction of the brain is used for
THINKING (or at least higher thought processes).  The rest is still used,
just not for higher cognition.  (Of course the situation is more complex
than this, but that is where the number comes from).

Somewhere along the line, the idea that humans use only ~15% of the brain
for higher thought processes turned into the idea that humans only use ~15%
of their brain, period.  New Age-ism and bad sci fi not withstanding, this
latter concept doesn't hold up.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661