Does our brain produce any heat while processing information?


The best scientific measures are always differential. The temperature difference between this and that is almost always a more practical measure than the temperature according to some uncalibrated thermometer. Even a calibrated thermometer only changes this to a proxy for differential temperature against the standard to which it was calibrated.

As an interesting aside, check out the difficulty scientists and standards committees have maintaining the standard kilogram measure of mass: Le Grand K or IPK. The same difficulties attend precise measures of any physical quantity.

With that said, there are two differential temperatures one can take to review brain-generated heat: 1. arterial - venous (i.e. carotid - jugular) and 2. core - jugular. If these temperature differences are significant, then one can infer much heat generation in the brain.

Heat is generated as a byproduct of converting ATP to ADP where, for the Kreb’s cycle, the losses are fairly low compared to other ATP/ADP conversions (note that this is a differential measure as well). This energy conversion is used for a variety of functions: pumping ions across membrane at axon nodes of Ranvier, ordinary maintenance of cell equilibrium, manufacture of neurotransmitters, and countless other processes. Strange to say, ion pumping is not the majority mechanism for signaling since 97% of axons are “unmyelinated” which means completely insulated from access to exterior ions (see Gray’s Anatomy 35th British Edition drawing of axons near the beginning of the neurology chapter).

Cooling is achieved by the usual evaporative mechanisms from sweat after the blood from the jugular vein passes through all intermediates and then reaches the tiny caliber vessels of the skin where excess heat is transferred to the skin and differential cooling is potentiated by changes in sweat production.

Putting ones fingers over the jugular vein, one does not get the sensation of elevated temperature. Even an infrared image shows little difference in temperature between arterial and venous blood. From this, one can infer that the heat generated by the brain must not be all that significant for the most part.

However, anecdotally, I find that if I think really hard in certain specific ways, my head sweats more. This is not proof of anything scientific, but it puts me in mind to pursue causes. Does thinking hard raise my head temperature, or just trigger sweating without any relation to heat?
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Bewin
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February 6, 2019 at 9:34 AM ×

so informative,just like this need more

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feze
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February 6, 2019 at 9:35 PM ×

hum..I learn somomthing��

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Tom
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February 7, 2019 at 3:42 AM ×

need more information about under humanity facts

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Rijvee
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February 14, 2019 at 2:26 AM ×

learning more about this.. thanks

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Aston Rilly
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February 16, 2019 at 8:52 AM ×

Just like awesome information. Thanks

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