We brain specialists say that humans in general use 5% of their brains, not 10%!
It is not entirely the fault of the individual. All physically well persons are born with pretty much the same potential, the one non-identifying character being heredity. Brainy people tend to descend from brainy people.
One writer stated that 200 was about the top IQ to be obtained. The NEW YORK TIMES has carried articles relating scores of 216 or so in several cases. But having a high IQ does not
at all guarantee more than 5% use of that bright brain! It is what you do with it that counts.
A case history:
Dr. X, a close and long allied colleague of this writer, was featured in papers in 1945 as having the highest IQ ever tested in the United States Army. He was just back from a devastating tour in World Wat II wherein one of his duties was acting as interpreter and guard for General Patton, often in combat.
After the war, he obtained a doctorate in French at The University of Virginia top honors with a dissertation on the life of Emile Zola. He then went to France and obtained another PhD in French language (linguistics) in which his dissertation was "Twenty French expressions meaning "HORSE".
While in France, this genius learned and conquered fourteen (14) languages, with the English and the French he had already learned.
The languages included Basque, a most difficult syntactical task.
He was also personally vulnerable in TWO ways:
He loved the military life for he could then forget about working for eating, clothing, etc. and apply his brain to abstractions He ignored the emptiness of that arena.
The second failing was an addiction to alcohol.
Gradually his great brain succumbed to drinking, and he died at age 59, having accomplished nothing, his mastery of all the languages dead with him, and only his theses as witness to his brilliance.
This tale to show that REASON and HIGH IQ are different functions! One EXISTS, the other must be LEARNED.
Several of the great thinkers of all time have had their brains removed and kept for study when and if the future finds out anything about the brain and intelligence. EINSTEIN is one of them in the United States and BROCA one in France. We often refer to EINSTEIN when we want a comparison indicating high intelligence. While extremely intelligent in physics, Einstein was child-like in some ways. A set of thirty or so love-letters he wrote to a female friend in New Jersey reveal a petulance and inattention to language of a middle aged suitor. EINSTEIN insisted his IQ was about 155.
Back to the brain.
The greatest of the searchers for brain-use to appear in the world so far is DR. WILDER PENFIELD, whose thesis is very concisely shown in a magazine article of NOVEMBER 1953 in ATLANTIC MONTHLY. The title is "The Uncommitted Cortex".
Penfield's belief was that nearly all of us were guilty of the non-use of the other 95%.
He indicated ways to use the surplus. In fact, he was one of the first physicians and surgeons to know that it was possible to switch the brain from right to left or left to right in some injury problems involving the frontal lobes.
Very easily and gently revealed, we can ourselves without surgery or guidance MAKE our brains function more and more deeply and broadly by forcing ourselves to understand concepts that are normally rejected by us as too difficult or too tiring. TIRING is the key word! We are too damned lazy mentally to exercise our brains continually!
It seems that learning many languages like the unfortunate colleague above is one of the best and easiest routes for extended intelligence.
The PRACTICAL use of many languages opens the mind to read and understand many cultures; it also permits us to read in the original and not have to put up with doubtful 'translations" made by bigoted or stubborn interpreters!
A French neurologist recently did a study in which he found that persons of multiple languages had very little or no records of ALZHEIMER'S disease. Is that because there are so many more active cells in your brain's language section? Perhaps so.
I have only seven languages in enough accuracy to have them affect me. But I love to read subjects in one language and find the same themes expressed by a capable person in another language...often we find nuances , enhancing nuances, in the second or third language that were not in the initial writings.
Penfield, the highly intelligent neurologist, died in 1969. He was the President of the medical school of McGill University and a genius himself. The "pushing" he did at his self-measured 155 IQ got him way past that mark and gave the world many life-saving and life-enhancing tnings, medically and intellectually.
He thought he had reached perhaps 15% of his potential.
His legacy was that he was certain that a day would come(barring our self-annihilation) that brought most of us to a much higher brain function than 5%, 10% or even 50%!
The key was to strive for understanding beyond your possibilities, the impossible dream!