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Brain Power

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72909.  Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:12 am Reply with quote

Welcome to these parts. Not sure I understand your question, but I think the point being made in this thread is that there is no "unused 80%" of the brain to tap into - that's a myth. On the other hand, there is something called the Zone - the state of mind & body achieved by some elite athletes when they're performing at their peak. To see QI's take on that subject watch out for the new series, coming to a TV screen near you this autumn.

Quaintly Ignorant
72998.  Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:43 am Reply with quote

People using large percentages of their brains simultaneously will often exhibit convulsive behaviour and most likely be completely inacapacitated, think epilepsy. Still want to use more of that brain?

73002.  Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:52 am Reply with quote

Thanks Flash, glad to be here.

So the 80% that i'm looking for is already harnessed by the unconscious? Is it used to maintain one's health?

73086.  Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:26 pm Reply with quote

I have to say that, whatever the current scientific orthodoxy, I'm certain that most people use only a small percentage of their brain in any meaningful sense.

(There is elvish disagreement on this, of course).

Our brains are massively bigger than those of other apes, but there is very little evidence that this immense power is used to anything like its potential by almost all human beings.

73122.  Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:26 am Reply with quote

I find it hard to believe that some of the people I see on the bus in the morning are even using 10% of their brains.

73142.  Wed Jun 07, 2006 5:39 am Reply with quote

Jumping Jack is making a different point, I think; mine is that scans of brain activity have been done, which show that different parts of the organ are used for different purposes - and virtually all of the brain can be specifically linked to one purpose or another. IE, there is no substantial portion of the brain which is simply unused or whose function has not been ascertained. Whether or not the bit that's being used for the analysis of abstract concepts (for example) is being used to its full capacity by a particular individual is another issue altogether, of course.

QI Individual
73455.  Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:08 pm Reply with quote

JumpingJack wrote:
I have to say that, whatever the current scientific orthodoxy, I'm certain that most people use only a small percentage of their brain in any meaningful sense.

(There is elvish disagreement on this, of course).

Our brains are massively bigger than those of other apes, but there is very little evidence that this immense power is used to anything like its potential by almost all human beings.

Hi Jack. Long time no post.

Our brains have evolved to its current size and level of ability because it gave us an increased chance of survival. If you're born in the slums of Calcutta (yes, I know...) you still need all that brainpower to find ways to survive in such a 'hostile' environment. In our wealthy 'developed' society many of us are able to use this 'excess' brainpower towards more 'elevated' pursuits. But that’s a rather recent development and most people on this earth still primarily need their extra cunning just to survive.

Don't underestimate the brainpower it takes to be conscious and aware at our human level. To process the visual information we receive and to use our language to communicate. To analyse the world around us and make decisions every few seconds on what actions to undertake. Evolution/nature is very frugal. It wouldn't waste the 20% of our total energy intake on our brains if it weren't absolutely necessary to give us that evolutionary 'edge'.

Sure... I recognise the irritation and despair about the inane things people do and say but even those people make considerable use of their brainpower... just not towards the ends you and I would like them to. But that's another matter.

The 'zone' thing in athletes Flash referred to is QI.
It might be associated with the fact that when our brains send more excitatory impulses to our muscles to increase their power, our nervous system is wired in such a way that through a feedback mechanism the amount of inhibitory synapse activity increases too. This creates a sort of limiter function on the use of our muscles to protect us against injuring ourselves (muscle tears, torn off/ruptured tendons).

The effect of training is not just increasing the amount of muscle tissue and better coordination but also in 'learning' the nervous system to 'suppress' that feedback mechanism and allowing the use of muscles to a higher percentage of their maximum power than usual. This leads inevitably to more of the injuries the protective mechanism is meant to prevent. But if for whatever reason highly trained athletes reach a state in which that feedback mechanism is very much suppressed and it doesn't lead to injury they will be capable of peak performances.

QI Individual
73488.  Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:07 pm Reply with quote

Oh I almost forgot...

That suppression of the inhibitory feedback is also the source, as I was taught, for the extraordinary feats of strength people can display in extreme situations. The example we were told was of a mother, seeing from her window how her child is being run over by a car, running outside and lifting the car up to save her child. The mental/neurophysiological state caused by her witnessing that event allowed her to suppress that inhibitory feedback mechanism and let her use her muscles at peak capacity for a short moment.

78240.  Wed Jul 05, 2006 5:03 am Reply with quote


Memory techniques are very powerful methods to learn and remember information. Let’s look at how they work:

They give meaning to what you are trying to learn. Because internal memory techniques give meaning to something you want to remember, they are successful. This works in two ways: In many cases, we can find meaning inherent to the information we are trying to learn. Or we can inflict meaning on material that doesn’t essentially have that meaning to make it more memorable. And something that is meaningful is more memorable.

They force you to focus attention on what you are trying to learn. You are forced to concentrate, when you apply an internal memory technique. In fact, just using a method makes it impossible not to pay attention. And we already know that we absorb something we want to remember more effectively when we attend to it.

78399.  Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:39 pm Reply with quote

Mort wrote:
.. and yet it is quite simply false, much like that "going swimming soon after eating will give you cramp" myth.

Is this widespread, or am I just an idiot?

I thought the reason you shouldn't do that was because if you swallowed water and mixed it with food particles left in the throat you could choke. I used that arguement to counter my wife's warning the other day not to relieve the heat after lunch by jumping in the pond. I said I would keep my mouth shut and all would be well!!

It was. But I often find that is the case whether I jump in the pond or not.

Referring back to my first sentence, how is it then that I can wash my food down with any liquid that comes to hand? Obviously, petrol, thinners, witches water etc., excepted.

84207.  Mon Aug 07, 2006 8:30 am Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

Here is some helpful information about brain management. I would to share and will be happy if you add some more to these. Thank you I will be waiting for your replies.

Brain Power

The “Free noting” mind workout: Discovering a wealth of information and understanding one can also build language fluency! Understand more from a lesson, lecture, book, or course. And it’s a great problem-solving method!

The “Flash Answer Method” and the “Flash Awareness Method” mind workouts: Can one think of the clear blue sky? Of course. It seems that his/her brain responded quickly, didn’t it? Yes. But there’s a deeper, main, limbic part of one’s brain that responds to questions ten thousand times faster than that! Now one can access it! Here, you’ll find instant answers to any personal, situational, job-related, or community-based problem!

The seven-step “Crabapple” mind workout: More than 80 percent of our brain works in sensory images — and only 1 percent to 2 percent in words? Think of a dream you had where you woke up confused. What did it mean? Dreams work in sensory images. Now you can use metaphor to find answers to the most stubborn problems!

The “Held Breath Underwater” mind workout. We can improve our span of awareness by concentrating longer. Feel sharper, clearer, more alert, and healthier. Strengthen the circulation to your physical brain. It’s as simple as holding your breath!


84369.  Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:19 pm Reply with quote

Are you by any chance spamming us? If so, it's QI (quaintly ironic) that your link doesn't work.

84542.  Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:04 am Reply with quote

Ah, poetic justice.

Quaintly Ignorant
84548.  Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:11 am Reply with quote

David26 wrote:

The “Flash Answer Method” and the “Flash Awareness Method” mind workouts:

(Outrageous French accent)"No thanks. We 'ave already got one"

He's called Flash and he's better at answering questions and being aware than any other "Flash method".

"Now go away before I taunt you for a second time!"

115674.  Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:12 am Reply with quote

Hi there I am not a spammer and not spamming anything.....that link is a very useful and helpful resource for brain power & self help........well if it wont work thats ok.



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