From The Clarion-Ledger:
The notion that humans use only about 10 percent of those billions of neurons floating around in their skulls and many brain cells are, in a sense, on permanent vacation, just waiting to be roused from their idyll. Wrong. That notion grew from a 19th century experiment in which a researcher removed ever larger portions of brain tissue from a range of animals and then observed how that affected their behavior, University of California, Irvine cognitive science professor Gregory Hickok recently wrote in The New York Times.  

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