Brain energy expenses

Richard Norman rsnorman at
Thu Aug 31 19:00:48 EST 2000

I apologize if I wasn't clear.  Certainly, whether we are doing intellectual
or letting or mind drift, we are always making sure that we maintain our
bodily functions.  I was trying to say what you said more clearly -- the
energy consumption of the brain does not change significantly with what
we are thinking about or concentrating on.  The pattern of which regions
of the brain shifts.  But it leaves an interesting question, what is the
doing most of the time, anyway?  I guess that merely seeing and interpreting
the world around us (to use the visual system as an example) takes just
as much energy as focusing our attention on some fine visual detail.

"Vytautas" <Slotkusl at> wrote in message
news:39aebf8d at
> Richard Norman, sorry, but you are absolutely wrong.  You say literaly,
> when we try to solve difficult tasks our brain "forgets" to make the data
> procesing necesary for keeping alive the body. Yes, one of your points is
> right, but not in the meaning you try to give it. Yes, when we do complex
> tasks the distribution of energy usage changes dramaticaly, so some
> of the brain, previously inactive, suddenly consume more energy, that the
> regions responsible of autonomic, somatic functions of the body. May be
> simply did not expressed yourself clear, so I missunderstanded your text,
> such a case sorry. Hope this mesage can clear the things up. And for your
> question, Alexander, yes it is possible, and have been done already. I'm
> sure, but I read in some scientific magazine, that the energy consumtion
> the brain during hard intelectual work is almost the same as all the body
> uses while taking physical exercise. Certainly it is the most energy
> expensive organ. I may be wrong, the best would be if you could search for
> this data somewhere in the internet and tell us how is it truly.
> Respectfully, Vytautas.

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