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ability to be energy efficient

Study: Brains can be energy efficient

Frankfurt, Germany -- German scientists say they've discovered human brains have the ability to be energy efficient.

Scientists said brain cells generate and propagate nerve impulses by controlling the flow of sodium and potassium ions -- an action requiring energy. The amount of energy was previously estimated using a giant nerve cell from a squid.

But now a study by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany, shows squid cell studies overestimated the amount of energy necessary to generate an action potential by nearly a factor of four. That, said the researchers, suggests human brains also have the same potential to be energy efficient.