"20% of the energy at only 2% of the weight" is a frequently regurgitated factoid. More precisely, it should read: 20% of oxygen consumption.

The problem starts when one looks into the source experiment. The Wikipedia article on the brain offers Mink et al. 1981. Unfortunately, that paper merely summarizes the data of others and itself references the ancient 1957 paper by Kety, The general metabolism of the brain in vivo (reference 50). Alas, Kety again only summarizes the data of yet others from the 40s and 50s (see table 1). So, we have a horrible case of he said, she said.

Does anybody know of a more recent and more reliable study that estimates the % of energy consumed by the brain?



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