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Asked • 03/15/19

How does the brain's energy consumption depend on mental activity?

What is the impact of mental activity on the energy consumption of the human brain?I am most interested in intellectually demanding tasks (e.g., chess matches, solving a puzzle, taking a difficult exam) versus tasks with a similar posture but less demanding (e.g., reading a newspaper, watching TV). I heard that energy consumption stays remarkably constant regardless of the mental activity (and energy consumption can be explained by elevated heart rate due to stress). However, it seems to contradict techniques such as fMRI, where the change in metabolism is measured (unless the relative change is really small).

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David H. answered • 03/15/19

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