Slade Wilson has as one of his superpowers “the ability to use more of his brainpower than the average person.” This is kind of a useless power though. It is a common misconception among people to think that humans use only 40% of our brain power. This is true but only if you understand the context of the statement. The human brain has evolved over our history to be quite an efficient organ. In fact we have sufficiently smaller brains than cro-magnons but ours are more efficient making us more intelligent. What we wouldn’t have evolved to do is to have an organ which is 60% useless. Imagine that your heart can pump 150% percent more blood, but just doesn’t. The extra muscle that our body would have to produce would be wasted for an organ that wasn’t justifying so much input. This holds true with the brain as well. So when they say that humans use only 40% of our brainpower its not really accurate. The average human in the span of a regular day will use about 99.9% of their brainpower, just if you used more than 40% at a time your brain would get fried and you would probably be clueless as to what to do. Perhaps some people are better at using their brain power in different ways – in fact some say that the differing viewpoints that people can bring to a conversation are quite valuable if they use different parts of their minds. For instance there are some novel solutions to problems if you are using the creative part of your mind and not just the analytical. Still even then you wouldn’t be using anything close to 100% of brain power because you couldn’t . Brain power includes every single part of our brain from the most refined parts down to the more basic amygdala. So to describe this another way, imagine playing a complicated piano arrangment while screaming at the the music because you find it terrifying. Its not much of a power.
Deathstroke's Useless Power
I think what they're saying when they say he uses all of his brain is that he's smarter, more intelligent and reacts quicker than a normal person. While it's true that it is a misconception, in the comics it isn't useless it is why he's so good tactically.
"I think what they're saying when they say he uses all of his brain is that he's smarter, more intelligent and reacts quicker than a normal person. While it's true that it is a misconception, in the comics it isn't useless it is why he's so good tactically. "
" The average human in the span of a regular day will use about 99.9% of their brainpower, just if you used more than 40% at a time your brain would get fried and you would probably be clueless as to what to do."Through the span of a day, I believe what they're saying about Stroke is that he uses it all at once. Saying it would fry your brain in real life is somewhat moot when talking about a comicbook character's ability. This question/statement has been brought up before. I'll see if I can find a scan where they actually try to legitimize the ability on panel.
(he also has a healing factor and other near/superhuman attributes)
I loled the first time I heard his power. I would hope all his fans and people generally know its a myth that has been dispelled many years ago.
I am still waiting for the issue where Slade sarcastically informs a casual observer of his power and proceeds to sarcastically inform him of other "facts" like 7 year chewing gum one, and the one about Wolverine being male, and the one about photographic memory, and the one about Matt Fraction.
But what if his mind does process all these things at once and it doesn't overwhelm him? He's thinking about his opponent's 20 possible next moves, his own hundred counters fo those moves, a movie he saw on cable last night, what he's going to have for dinner, and the meaning of life.
no no, my bad. Didnt mean to sound as if this were a dupe thread. What I was saying is that Stroke's brain ability has been the topic of confusion/debate/conversation for years (not just here but all over). I understand what you're saying, and agree that we could be overwhelmed. But again, comicbook logic throws real life facts out the window all the time. But I believe the DCU has done a better job of defining the ability over the years. The statement, "Deathstroke uses 90% of his brain" alone seems foolish yes, but I think as fans we're also allowed the ability to read between the lines. It also gives the writers a wide range of tactical situations in which they can expand on (speculation on my part). Cause although he's supposedly able to utilize more of his brain then a normal human, it still seems to only apply to one specialized field, combat. He can think several moves ahead of his opponents.
" @Gambler: I am only coming up on my 50th day here, sorry if this has been discussed before. I think my point here was that there are a bunch of processes going on inside our heads all at once, if we used all of them we would simultaneously be overwhelmed with all of our emotions and it wouldnt make us particularly effective at anything, let alone fighting. If the writers just rewrote it to say his brain is more efficient it would be better. "
Some writers do actually use the term, "more Efficient" or even "Boosted" but being comics they also have to add that extra layer of theatrics.
Didnt mean to sound as if I was dismissing your post or didn't understand the message :) I actually agree with what you're saying. But I'm also trying to show what (I think) the definition of his brain power is.
This isnt my statement, its from the DC Database (which is fan edited I believe so take from it what you will) but it seems like a fairly reasonable explanation.
Able to utilize 9 times more than a human's full brain capacity for information processing and sorting, Deathstroke's mind is virtually a computer built for strategy and problem-solving, one that works at optimal ability even when under stress and fatigue. Using his superior problem-solving skills, Deathstroke can work out a battle ahead of time for many possibilities and predict enemy movements and tactics after the battle has engaged by recalling and utilizing memorized mannerisms acquired through past experience on a moment's notice. He is also ingenious in devising solutions against superior aspects of opponents, can observe and exploit, and can calculate distance, speed, and time at lightning speeds; his sense of timing is superb, bordering on perfection.
See Slade is so smart that he tricked the narrator into thinking that, he's fifty steps ahead of the heroes, twenty- five steps ahead of Luthor and ten steps ahead of the narrator.
He's so smart he can see why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
The thing which set me off on this was the movie Limitless, didnt the Bradley Cooper character massively increase his ability to use more of his brain?
I can understand that as a superpower (what Slade can do to outthink people) but then Batman would basically have the same power (as would some real life person like Gary Kasparov)
" @Gambler: The thing which set me off on this was the movie Limitless, didnt the Bradley Cooper character massively increase his ability to use more of his brain? I can understand that as a superpower (what Slade can do to outthink people) but then Batman would basically have the same power (as would some real life person like Gary Kasparov) "I'll deny ever saying this, but, Batman can pretty much do the same thing as Slade. The only difference is the DCU refuses to admit that Batman has superhuman abilities because they like categorizing him as a normal human.
I haven't seen the Limitless movie yet so I cant comment on that. Might check it out when its on DVD.
" @Gambler: The thing which set me off on this was the movie Limitless, didnt the Bradley Cooper character massively increase his ability to use more of his brain? I can understand that as a superpower (what Slade can do to outthink people) but then Batman would basically have the same power (as would some real life person like Gary Kasparov) "The pill seemed give him ambition and motivation, I didn't really see "Super-smart" from it. And it wasn't so much using more of his brain as it was making more connection he explains
I dont understand your statement. What is reasonable? If the power was described as using his brain more efficiently then that would be something, but its usually described as using more of your brain power. The brain doesnt work like that. Imagine if you were angry, hungry and sexually aroused while trying to drive a car, paint a painting, solve a math problem and have a deep conversation about philosophy all at the same time. The brain isn't designed to work that way. Nor if it could work that way would it be particularly effective. You wouldn't want all that other stuff going on inside your head while you were trying to strategize in a battle. Nor can a person reconfigure their brain so some other brain part becomes useful for something else. If Slade converted 100% of his brain power to combat, then he would also become incontinent.
I'm trying to phrase this in a way that isn't insulting but it's difficult.
Regardless of what you want to call it, you know what Slade's ability is, you know that it works, who gives a **** if the term is efficiency or power?
Please don't refrain from being insulting towards me - I can take it.
My problem with this is that it is phrased stupidly. I meet people in the street who dream of the powers they could have if they could only access the other 60% of their mental power, not realizing at all how the brain works.
I understand your point, and I have no real issues with the intent of the power itself, just if Superman's ability to fly came from something that we knew was untrue, then it would take away from the legitimacy of the character. Say if Superman's ability to fly was caused by say an ability to control clouds you would probably say: "clouds can't support a person's weight". Same thing here.
They should ramp that aspect of Slade more though, sort of like Fantomex (he makes crazy claims that aren't true but sound like they might be, just to throw off people) it also gives a way for smart comic book characters to be intelligent without being limited by the fluctuating writer's level of intellect.
I had to look it up to verify what was truth versus myth. This is what I found in Wikipedia...
"People do not use only ten percent of their brains. While it is true that a small minority of neurons in the brain are actively firing at any one time, the inactive neurons are important too. This myth has been commonplace in American culture at least as far back as the start of the 20th century, and was attributed to William James, who apparently used the expression metaphorically. Some findings of brain science (such as the high ratio of glial cells to neurons) have been mistakenly read as providing support for the myth."
This is a power that could probably be re-explained in a manner that is not so easily refuted by fact.
Its hardly useless. Having that extra brainpower gives him an edge in combat. He is able to think faster and keep himself at most ten steps ahead of his opponents. Is it a power by technical defintions? No. Its more of a.. mutation, of sorts. It's similar to how Captain America gained his abilities.
Slade brain did get enhanced in ways that he thinks faster, multi-task better, more focus, and is always sharp. Characters like Batman are more smarter in regards of Science/Creating Tech. But Slade is smarter in a different way in planning.
@RazzaTazz: exactly. People get their energy from sugar (glycolysis and other metabolic pathways make and use ATP ). Than our veins carry/circulate the oxygen and dissolved sugars in our blood, feeding/fueling/powering our brain. Generally speaking the mental processes take so much energy the brain needs to be well fed and rested in order to function optimally.
Mechanically we use 100% of our brains. I've heard the other argument that we use our brains but don't maximize its use, like a stereo set to a low volume decible. Even than the 10% theory is still ridiculous. There is no tangible data I know of to determine the amount of usage the human brain has. We know of rare cases of people showcasing unique mental functions, such as photographic memory or individuals with autism that can ability to calculate high level mathematical equations without learning how to. We use separate parts of our brain for different functions, I'm sure you've heard of left and right brain theory.
Our brains are our most amazing ability and the average individual can probably optimize their usage to an extent. But as you and others have said or alluded to the notion that we simply don't use a large percentage of our brain is a misnomer
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