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How does energy efficiency shape the organization of brains?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Mikail Rubinov.

Brains consume significant quantities of energy and are sensitive to interruptions in supply. Remarkably detailed observations of changing patterns of energy supply have revolutionized cognitive neuroscience. By comparison, our knowledge of the involvement of energy in neural processing is rudimentary. I will discuss why neurons depend on energy to process information, why they must use their energy efficiently and how efficiency shapes a brain’s organization. Many of the constraints on energy efficiency are inescapable – they are deeply rooted in cell biology and communications theory. Consequently the need to be energy efficiency influences a brain’s organization at all levels – molecular interactions in protein circuits, the structure and function of neurons, the coding and processing of information by neural circuits, and the division of labour between different sets of circuits.

This talk is part of the Brain Mapping Unit Networks Meeting and the Cambridge Connectome Consortium series.

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