What would happen if we could use 100% of our brain?
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If we force to use 100% of our brain, It would look like this:
Seriously, the only situation that I know in which a person can “use” 100% brain utility (using every neuron connection at the same time) is during seizures. If someone know any other scenario, please tell me in the comments.
It comes down to how our brain proccesses information.
Our brain doesn’t work like most computer CPUs. Most current generation CPUs have cores that can do almost any task at a fix clock speed, basically every CPU cores is the same. Because of this universal versatility, you can utilize it to 100% CPU time utilization, in which every core is doing everything as fast as it can, to do the set of tasks you give to it. Because the RAM channel bandwidth is very high, you have relatively little problem in task scheduling.
For the brain, you can replace “cores” with a “nuclei” which is a cluster of neurons that does a specific task.
Our brain processes different kind of task/information in different part of the brain (cores), and there’s so many of them. Even every muscle that controls your fingers has its own “motor core” (a network of neuron dedicated to control that finger). If a core is not receiving enough information, it will not utilize every neuron on that core. But if it receives more information than it can handle, it will run at 100% utility, and ignore what it can’t process at the time (the data is lost).
Now, there's a special bundle of cores, called the prefrontal cortex. That's where you make conscious decisions based on the information coming from other brain area, although this part is physically relatively big compared to other cores, this core is easily overloaded because the task is so complex. Your standard IQ test mostly measures this core's performance.
Edit: Some say that this brain region is where your consciousness resides, but it hasn’t been proven to be true or not. It is still an interesting controversial topic (thanks to for the edit).
For example, if you’re playing basketball and you have the ball while dribling towards your opponents ring. This is what happens in your brain:
Your balance cores are busy determining where your center of mass is, your speed, your orientation, angle of attack while running, accelerations, tracking where your legs are (this information is fetched from “proprioception cores”), knowing the ground textures (fetched from the visual cores), and a bunch of other stuff.
Your visual cores are busy tracking the movements of the ball, separating the player from the background, judging distances, recognizing your team mates, knowing where the line is, judging the speed/acceleration of other players, and much more.
Your motor cores are busy determining which muscle strands to contract at what time to move a limb, how much power that goes in a movement, etc. This core’s relationship with the proprioception cores is vital.
Proprioception cores “remember” where your limbs are so you don’t get trampled by your own legs. (Yes, stumbling for no reason is your proprioception failing to do its job)
Your thalamus filters out unnecesary information that will otherwise make your brain utterly ineficient and slow because of overloading (I have experienced it, its not very pleasant, theres a wikipedia page about it: “sensory overload”)
Your audio cores are not so busy, they are waiting for a command or audio communications from other players. By constantly analyzing every vibration in the air that sounds like a human voice, and half-ass processing other sounds. If it finds a human voice, it will conveniently articulate it back into words for you.
Your olfactory (chemical sensor) cores aren’t doing much. There’s not enough relevant information from the environment. It's beneficial to actually do this, since your thalamus and your prefrontal cortex bandwidth are easily overloaded.
Your somatosensory cores (skin sensors) are mainly analyzing pressure points all over your body, and relaying this information to the prefrontal cortex and the others.
The prefrontal cortex (your consciousness) is very busy doing a lot of analyzing, strategy, predictions, risk managing, decision making, etc. by processing the information from all of the cores above. And then it tells the motor cores what to do.
All of the cores above are intricately interconnected, and constantly interchanging information, which results in massively pararel processing.
So, because not all information is relevant to the situation, there’re always some cores that have nothing to do, for there is simply not enough useful information to process.
But there’s more…
The brain stores information in its structure of neural connections. If you fire a random neuron without a relevant stimulus, it will trigger memories/muscle memories that aren’t even related to the situation. Imagine you fire a neuron that triggers your bladder/urethra muscle memory to pee. Or your muscle memory to play a piano while you’re holding a guitar. Your finger will press the guitar strings like a piano key. Or some random sensation memory, like smelling an apple juice, or something.
And then, imagine all… every muscle memory and mental/sensation memory that you have up until now being triggered. Now you are remembering and doing everything you know how to do. At the same time. Can you guess what would be the result?
Yes, a realy bad total seizure…
And no, you will not even be conscious if that happens.
So, the reason the brain cannot functionally operate at 100% utility is:
not every piece of information is relevant to the situation, and there’s simply not enough useful information to process. (Non-useful information will only cloud your judgment, you don’t want that)
There’re always some specialized cores that have nothing to do, because there’s not enough specialized kind of information for it to process.
bottlenecks in some part of the brain.
and it will make you do and feel everything you know at once. In other word, a very bad seizure.
Sensory overload sucks.
TLDR , if you would use 100% you would have a seizure that would instantly make you unconscious and stop your heart.