Ratio of central nervous system to body metabolism in vertebrates: its constancy and functional basis
Title Page & Abstract Page 1

Title page & Abstract


Introduction


Methods


Discussion
of Methods


Table


Results


Figure 3


Discussion


References

Ratio of central nervous system to body metabolism in vertebrates:
its constancy and functional basis

JONATHAN W. MINK, ROBERT J. BLUMENSCHINE, AND DAVID B. ADAMS

Department of Psychology, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut 06457

This is the reprint of an article published by The American Journal of Physiology, Regulatory Integrative Comp. Physiol. in Volume 10 (3) pp R203-R212, 1981.

ABSTRACT

We present and document an hypothesis that healthy adults of most vertebrate species use 2-8% of their basal metabolism for the central nervous system (CNS). This relationship is constant across all classes of vertebrates, as we found by examining data from 42 species, including 3 fish, 3 amphibia, 2 reptiles, 6 birds, and 28 mammals. To explain its constancy, we hypothesize that an optimal functional relationship between the energy requirements of an animal's executor system (muscle metabolism) and its control system (CM metabolism) was established early in vertebrate evolution. Three types of exceptional cases are discussed in terms of the hypothesis: very large animals, domesticated animals, and primates.


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