Why does the brain use so much energy?

By Dale Mahalko (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons We know more about what the brain does when it’s active than we do when it’s at rest. It makes sense — much neuroscientific research has looked to understand particular (and active) processes. James Kozloski, a researcher at IBM, has investigated what the brain does when it’s resting — what he calls ‘the Grand Loop’. “The brain consumes a great amount of energy doing nothing. It’s a great mystery of neuroscience,” Kozloski told PopSci. He argued that around 90 percent of the energy used by the brain remained “unaccounted for”.  He believes that the brain is constantly ‘looping signals’, retracing neural pathways over and over again. It’s a “closed loop”, according to Kozloski, meaning it isn’t reliant on external inputs as…


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