posted on Jun, 14 2003 @ 12:32 AM
I think you're referring to the story of 'Phineas Gage'.. an irish immigrant railroad worker who, in the 19th century, was the unfortunate victim
of a railway accident that sent a rail spike through his head...
True... he did survive and was able to 'function', that is, he could eat, sleep, clean himself, and do other 'functional' things... but his
personality was not just grumpier. As the spike separated his frontal lobes form the rest of his brain, he lost the ability to plan effectively and
understand abstract concepts. His 'grumpiness' was a result of his inability to understand the overall efforts at his work place, or even the humor
of the people around him. In fact, Gage's case was one of the first ones that tipped psychologists off to the fact that different parts of the brain
have different functions.
So, yes, people can live with parts of their brains missing, but only if those parts are not critical to raw life support. And, even in cases where
people live after recieving head wounds, they have serious mental impairments...
...and, the whole 10% thing is a number invented by 'psychics' in the 70s, as a way of saying, "you're using 10%, but I'm using 30%". Yes,
people may use only between 10-20% of their nuerons at once, but the brain is divided by function, so, in any given day, you will probably use most of
your brain cells.