11:15am PT by Ashley Lee
'Fox & Friends' Challenges Validity of 'Lucy' Brain Use: 'Of Course It's Not True' (Video)
Fox & Friends attempted to set the record straight about human brain use, ahead of the release of Luc Besson's sci-fi thriller, Lucy.
The Friday release stars Scarlett Johansson as a mob mule who inadvertently ingests a drug she was carrying in her stomach, which allows her to use more of her brain power than any other human in this futuristic world. She gains special abilities: eyes that change color, the sudden ability to write Chinese, superhuman strength and unlimited intelligence.
The film is prefaced by a specific notion: "It is estimated most human beings only use 10 percent of their brain's capacity; imagine if we could access 100 percent, interesting things begin to happen," says Morgan Freeman in the trailer (watch it above). "All this knowledge — you can unlock secrets that go beyond our universe. I'm not even sure that mankind is ready for them."
Fox & Friends host Elisabeth Hasselbeck said that according to a study, 65 percent of Americans believe the brain-use statistic quoted in Lucy is true, and the program sought to debunk the belief in a recent segment. "Of course it's a myth," Dr. David Samadi told Hasselbeck. "I think they're using this as a sound bite to get a lot of viewers. And it's an exciting movie, I would watch it. … It's not true, absolutely not. We're using a hundred percent of our brains, all the time. Your brain consists of hundreds of billions of these nerves and neurovasculars and what we call neurons, which are constantly working."
Samadi explained that the 10 percent brain-power myth began approximately 100 years ago, and was noted by psychologist William James and Albert Einstein.
"What's interesting is that, if you get a brain scan, you would see that maybe 10 to 15 percent of your brain is extremely active — if you look at something, the visual part of your brain is overworking, but the area that's responsible for the smell or walking may not be as active," he explained. "So part of the brain lights up, but a part of it may not be as active. But you need the entire brain to work all the time, at some degree, throughout the day."
As Samadi noted that actual brain power interruption would trigger stroke and paralysis, Hasselbeck read that some of the dangers of believing the myth can lead to "not taking brain trauma seriously," "using drugs due to false security," "wasting money on 'brain games.' " Samadi said the latter don't really work, and the best way to keep a mind sharp to delay dementia and Alzheimer's is by doing things that challenge your brain, like playing chess, learning a new language or instrument, or reading a good book.
"You wouldn't be functional, you wouldn't be working well," said Samadi, when asked what a person looks like who uses only 10 percent of their brain. "So it's a great cute movie, I think they're using this whole myth as a way to really get a great crowd out there. It's really exciting, but it's not true."
Lucy hits theaters July 25.
Watch the video below.