Not Only Food For Thought

Mauro DiNuzzo

Besides energy, what else does the brain need to function? Probably the way energy is allocated under the control of multiple trade-offs that ultimately shape optimal energy utilization and behavior. The brain is an exceptionally energy-consuming organ, regardless of the activation state. Metabolic acceleration is believed to have played a major role in the evolution of the human brain. Here, I discuss the importance of metabolism and nutrition on brain development and health, focusing on the mutual relation between function and energy utilization and how this relation is affected by lifestyle. Stress, fatigue, anxiety, social interactions, physical exercise, relaxation all impact the functioning of the brain and the body. I put emphasis on sleep, perhaps the most universal behavior shared by species on Earth, and examine its relevance in relation to energy balance, waste removal and neuronal network reorganization. Finally, I ask which useful message, if any, neuroscience can provide about lifestyle, and who should be the recipient of that message.

Dear Mauro DiNuzzo
I would like to thank you very much for your choice of making available to Dan-Skerne with a lecture during the Research Day 2017 in connection with the “Book a Researcher”.
Both the Research Day and the “Book a Researcher” scheme intend to involve the citizens in research and create more relationships between communities and researchers. At the same time, the scheme allows researchers to meet the people who enjoy the results of the research. In a broader perspective, the Research Day focuses on the importance of science for our everyday lives and the Danish society, as well as how research and innovation contribute to solving society’s challenges.
This year, more than 530 lectures have been commissioned throughout the country – an increase of 27 percent from 2016. This is evidence of a growing and ever-increasing curiosity and interest in research in Denmark. As lecturer, you have contributed to creating engaging and profitable relationships between citizens and researchers as well as communicating the basic element of curiosity of research. I would like to acknowledge that.
I hope you will consider participating in the “Book a Researcher”, when the Day of Research in 2018 re-rolls across the country.
Yours sincerely,
Søren Pind

Letter from Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science

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