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Why does the brain use so much energy?

Stashed in: Brain, Anxiety

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No one knows why or what it is used for.

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 much of the brain's activity is.

Studying the brain always highlights how little we know :)

The brain is the tool we use to study the brain. :)

There's a part of the brain responsible for making us make mistakes under pressure.

Much historic research into anxiety has found that people tend to exert more energy or force when they're being watched -- something that leads to slip-ups or mistakes under pressure. Musicians performing in front of crowds are more likely to forcefully press keys or pluck strings harder than they do when alone. Something similar is seen in all kinds of performance -- including learner drivers and sportspeople.

A new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Sussex, claims to have identified the neural system that causes us to stumble and make mistakes when we're trying to make a good impression.

Participants' brain activity was monitored by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while they carried out a task requiring them to exert an exact amount of force when gripping an object. They were then shown video footage of two people they believed were evaluating their performance in the task. The task was then repeated -- only this time the video footage showed people who appeared to be evaluating somebody else's task.

Not only did participants report feeling more anxious when they believed they were being watched, they also gripped the object harder -- without even noticing. 

Awesome! Thanks!

I thought you'd dig that. I always look forward to more stashing about the brain from you!

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