Hidden Talents and Brain Maps
© 2001 Stephen Holland --- sholland@softwaves.net

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9. Brain-Intensive Activities
Einstein is often quoted as saying that "We only use 5% of our brain." This is wrong. Many activities use much more of the brain. (Einstein knew almost nothing about the brain, because at the time no one knew much.)

When I studied how different activities used different talents, I was amazed at what I found. Some activities normally considered "simple" in fact were very brain-intensive, using far more than 5% of the brain. Some of the highlights are...

1. Cooking

Cooking a large meal, such as a Thanksgiving meal, uses nearly 100% of the brain. Almost every patch of the brain is firing away, like light bulbs flashing on and off all over the head. The following is a only a sample of all the talents used...
  • Muscle and coordination talents to use knives and other tools
  • Creative right brain talents for planning the table
  • Social talents to think about who should sit where diplomatically
  • Artistic talents for decorating a cake and making flower arrangements
  • Time talents for scheduling all the cooking
  • Math talents to modify recipes and measure proportions
  • Language talents in reading recipes and talking to one's self
  • Inhibition right brain talents concerned about table and social manners
  • Inhibition left brain talents to worry about what might happen
  • Sensory talents for touch, smell, taste,vision...
  • Non-verbal sounds (music area) for interpreting cooking sounds
What happens when, during this brain-intensive activity, Jimmy asks his Mom for a raise in his allowance? "Don't bother me now, I am busy!" Translate = My brain is very busy with this activity and I can't thnk about anything else, and if you keep pestering me now I will lower your allowance.

Probably one of the peaks of human brain activity is a teaching chef, such as a teacher in a high school cooking class, supervising and giving instructions to a group of beginning cafeteria students, in a large kitchen with lots of professional and dangerous equipment, getting ready for serving lunch to 600 finnicky teenagers. I can just imagine the smoke coming out of his ears because the brain is so busy -- Einstein would have been hopeless in this situation!. What happens when a vice-principal comes up and asks for his late attendance sheet at this time?

Approximate brain activity during Cooking...

Lesson to learn -- Cooking should be strongly emphasized for all children at all ages! Every primary school room should have kitchen facilities. For example, teach a child how to follow recipes to measure ingredients, and they will do better in math.

2. Hockey

Hockey players are often cartooned as dumb hunks of muscle. In fact, I would put hockey very high on the use of the brain, though more right-brained. Cooking needs more talents, but hockey needs faster-acting talents. It is also mostly right-brain talents without much language needed.
Some of the important points include...
  • High demand for muscle coordination while skating, compared to non-skating sports
  • High speed muscle coordination and reflexes needed for fast maneuvering
  • Precise visual perception to keep track of a tiny puck, flying at high speed, with sudden changes in motion
  • Fast spatial analysis to keep track of the fast-moving players and puck
  • Creative right-brain talents to plan, and quickly change, tactics
Approximate brain activity during Hockey...

Stephen Holland --- sholland@softwaves.net