Ask the Experts; June 2004; Scientific American Magazine; by Staff Editor; 1 Page(s)
Perhaps it is unwelcome news, but neuroscience has found no vast, unused cerebral reservoir for us to tap. In addition, a study of self-improvement products by a National Research Council panel found that no "brain booster" is a reliable substitute for practice and hard work when it comes to getting ahead in life.
Why would a neuroscientist immediately doubt that 90 percent of the average brain lies perpetually fallow? First of all, it is obvious that the brain, like all other organs, has been shaped by natural selection. Brain tissue is metabolically expensive to grow and to run, and it strains credulity to think that evolution would have permitted the squandering of resources on a scale necessary to build and maintain such a massively underutilized organ.