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My Email to Dr. Nancy Kanwisher regarding Brain Metabolism Optimization for Weight Loss

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I saw Dr. Nancy Kanwisher on a TED talk recently about neuroimaging, and I decided to email her about an idea I had for a long time about how we could use all the neuroimaging that has occurred to determine what brain activities burn more calories, and thus could be combined with physical exercise to enhance weight loss.  And for those who are doubtful of this concept, one must only know that our brain uses about 1/5 of our calories.  Here is my email to Dr. Kanwisher:

Dr. Kanwisher,

Please feel free to forward this on to an appropriate person at your lab. I have had an idea for a while that requires partnering with a group that has done an immense amount of brain scans and/or have access to a large library.

I’d like to conduct research on Brain Metabolism Optimization for Weight Loss. Basically, in layman’s terms (of which I must admit I’m only a little bit above), every neurologist talks about how the brain uses about 20% of the calories of our bodies. And I know that FMRI is basically looking at the metabolism of the brain. So, with the amount of brain imaging that has occurred it should be fairly trivial research to determine what type of mental activities burn the most calories.

And although an experimental design would ultimately be needed to confirm whether the caloric use of the brain translates into weight loss, the findings of just looking at the existing brain scans would be highly suggestive of a connection with weight loss, given what we know of the Law of Conservation of Energy 🙂 (Of course, there could be some type of homeostasis of brain activity that has people eat more if they burn more calories from the brain, but I doubt this is any greater than other methods the body has of caloric homeostasis)

In the end, I think this type of research could result in a book titled “Think and Lose Weight”

Please let me know if your lab is interested in this research,
Jacob J. Walker, M.S., Doctoral Student

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Written by Jacob Walker

April 4th, 2016 at 11:59 am

One Response to 'My Email to Dr. Nancy Kanwisher regarding Brain Metabolism Optimization for Weight Loss'

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  1. It’s simple. Go outside during the dead of winter in a harsh climate without wearing a warm hat. Your head will start to get cold and your brain will go into panic mode to keep warm and will burn lots of extra calories.

    You’re over working this.

    Bobby Blue Boxman

    26 Apr 16 at 9:35 am

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