The Brain is an energy hog

17 September 2008 at 9:49 pm Leave a comment

A U.S. News & World Report cover article titled “What Will Human Beings Become?” addresses how the evolution of the human species is becoming more rapid and talks at one point about the brain itself:

The human brain…is likely to change even more in the future. Our niche in nature, says Stephen Pinker, an experimental psychologist at Harvard University who studies the evolution of language and the mind, is the ‘cognitive niche.’ In research published last year, Wray [an evolutionary biologist at Duke University] identified genes that control glucose metabolism in the brain as among those most recently evolved.  Those changes may have been essential to fueling the human brain’s growth to a size twice that of our nearest cousin, the chimpanzee.  ‘If you make a big brain, it’s an energy hog,’ Wray says.  ‘It’s like putting a V-8 engine in a tiny little car.’

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Entry filed under: energonomics, science. Tags: , , .

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