Steel Notes Magazine November 2016 - Page 73

www.steelnotesmagazine.com Moreover, thanks to neuroimaging techniques, it is possible to observe the activity of the brain in every aspect of daily life. Furthermore, when the rest of the body is in a resting phase, such as sleeping, all the parts of the brain are active. The simple act of having coffee in the morning—grabbing the coffee pot, pouring the liquid into the cup, adding sugar, tilting the cup, and drinking it— involves many areas: the occipital and the parietal lobes, motor and sensory areas, the basal ganglia , the cerebellum, and the frontal lobes, all in a period of a few minutes. Another argument that doesn’t support the theory of the 10% is supplied by the theory of evolution. The brain is an extremely expensive apparatus in terms of the consumption of oxygen and nutrients. Although it has a mass of only 2% of the human body, it absorbs 20% of the energy needs of a human being. If 90% of our brain was really unused, then man would have a great benefit in terms of survival by possessing a brain much smaller and more efficient brain, so natural selection would Steel Notes Magazine have eliminated that unused part of the brain. Other support is still being provided by studies conducted involving microscopic measurements made with the insertion of an electrode—a conductor capable of detecting electrical activity—into the brain, not referring to torture or macabre experiments but, rather, to useful procedures in the case of particular syndromes. These procedures have allowed researchers to analyze the activity of small groups of neurons down to even a single neuron. Thus, if there were any areas of the unused brain, these techniques would have already highlighted them. It remains to be understood why this myth continues to exist. The fact is that thinking we can significantly improve our cognitive skills attracts anyone—so much so that many startups are trying to develop substances that can improve brain capacity. These substances, called nootropics—from the Greek noos, meaning “mind,” and tropein, “change”— would allow the release of enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters, facilitating the oxygenation of the brain and the growth of certain parts of it. However, keep calm; we will not be surrounded by geniuses for quite a while! Steel Notes Magazine www.steelnotesmagazine.com 73