mythYou may be familiar with the recent movie Lucy. While the rest of us use only ten percent of our brain, the protagonist Lucy goes beyond the bounds of biology and uses more than ten percent of her brain, giving her extra powers the rest of us only wish we could have.

The movie’s original tagline (which has since been replaced) is this: “The average person uses 10% of their brain capacity. Imagine what she could do with 100%.”

Great premise. It’s the stuff of exciting and sometimes provocative stories.

You’ve heard it before—that we use only ten percent of our brain. How true is this assertion? Dr. Eric Chudler of the University of Washington gives us amazing facts about our brains and writes that maybe people believe this myth in the hope that we could perform super memory feats and have other fantastic mental abilities.

Lucy 10 percent myth

Snopes reveals where this myth might have originated, who is perpetuating it as truth today, and how it can’t be true.

A fun video on TED uncovers facts about the brain you might not have known.

NOTE: Some of the information shared in these links might refer to evolution.

Now it’s your turn: The 10-percent myth is used as the central premise for the new movie Lucy. Create a new myth about humans or about something else in the world. Or use an established myth like the Bigfoot/Sasquatch/yeti one (That’s a myth?!), or the phrenology myth very popular in the early 1800s. The brain illustration in the image above is an example of phrenology.

Write a short story that uses your new or old myth.

If writing a short story feels like torture, choose a myth that’s popular today and write your opinion of it.

Copyright © 2014 by Sharon Watson
Brain image in public domain. Lucy movie poster courtesy of IMDb.com

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