The new Luc Besson movie Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson, opens tomorrow in theaters countrywide. It’s based on the immortal myth that we use only 10 percent of our brains.
By Christian Jarrett—WIRED
Johansson’s character is implanted with drugs that allow her to access 100 percent of her brain capacity. She subsequently gains the ability to learn Chinese in an instant, beat up bad guys, and throw cars with her mind (among other new talents). Morgan Freeman plays neuroscientist Professor Norman, who’s built his career around the 10 percent claim. “It is estimated most human beings use only 10 percent of the brain’s capacity,” he says, “Imagine if we could access 100 percent.”
As it happens, I’ve written a book all about brain myths (Great Myths of the Brain; due out this November). I thought I’d use what I learned to give you a 60-second explainer on the 10 percent myth.