KAUST Research Workshop on Innovative Technologies to Study Brain Energy Metabolism
CERN & University of Geneva, Switzerland
Professor Jolivet is Joint Titular Professor in Medical Physics, CERN and University of Geneva.
The nervous system consumes a disproportionate fraction of the resting body's energy production. In humans, the brain represents 2% of the body's mass, yet it accounts for ~20% of the total oxygen consumption. Despite the significance of energy consumption in the nervous system, how energy constrains and shapes brain function is often under-appreciated. I will illustrate the importance of brain energetics and metabolism, and discuss how the brain trades information for energy savings in the visual pathway. Indeed, a significant fraction of the information those neurons could transmit in theory is not passed on to the next step in the visual processing hierarchy. I will discuss how this can be explained by considerations of energetic optimality. Finally, I will show how various experimental findings pertaining to brain energy metabolism can be incorporated in computational models tying brain energy metabolism to information processing.