The human brain uses a lot of calories in comparison to other species, that is usually explained by referencing the intelligence disparity between Humans and other Animals. My question is how far does that go? Do individuals with radically improved intelligence also use radically more calories? And peripherally, does that caloric need place an upper limit on human intelligence?

  • $\begingroup$ Have often wondered this myself. Looking forward to an answer! People say the brain atrophies without use, like muscle, and its certainly true that bigger/more active muscles use more calories, so one would think this might be the case with the brain... $\endgroup$ – Joe Healey Jan 11 '19 at 10:47
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    $\begingroup$ Bigger brains take more calories to build, and brain size has been conclusively shown to correlate with intelligence. The relationship is not strong, only very modest, perhaps a correlation of around $r \approx .3$. There is no doubt, however, that the relationship exists. $\endgroup$ – Eff Jan 15 '19 at 9:27
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    $\begingroup$ There is also, however, some evidence that more efficient brains are more intelligent. Efficient meaning here that they use less energy per processing power. This is not quite as clear as there is inconsistent evidence. See, for example, Richard Haier's book The Neuroscience of Intelligence. $\endgroup$ – Eff Jan 15 '19 at 9:30

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