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  1. 26 Jan '11 00:44
    What is the energy of a thought? Now before you hard scientists start with the bunkums, let me explain.
    Imagine a biological being, ourselves, deciding, planning and building a structure, let say a wall. It could be the Great Wall of China, a retaining wall in our garden, or a wall to hold back a mass of water, with consequent potential energy arising from energy transfer etc.

    Where is the energy flow from no structure to the dynamic outcome of established structure?

    Our brains use energy, like all else. It appears pretty solid that energy is not able to be created or destroyed, but can change its form, E=mc2 and all that. Energy goes into the mental processes by way of neuronic activity and metabolism of the physical body-mind complex.

    Is there any transferring or changing of energy in the production of a thought, and does the thought itself (as in decisions, plans and consequent bodily actions) contain any amount or sort of energy? If not, what is it that moves dynamically this body (or bodies) from inactive stasis, to decide, plan and create the wall?
    Remember, without the thought/s there would be no change or transfer of the energies involved, and no wall would arise.
    What do you think about this questioning thought? Like to put some "energy" into it?
  2. Subscriber joe shmo
    Strange Egg
    26 Jan '11 01:59 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Taoman
    What is the energy of a thought? Now before you hard scientists start with the bunkums, let me explain.
    Imagine a biological being, ourselves, deciding, planning and building a structure, let say a wall. It could be the Great Wall of China, a retaining wall in our garden, or a wall to hold back a mass of water, with consequent potential energy arising from e ...[text shortened]... d arise.
    What do you think about this questioning thought? Like to put some "energy" into it?
    This seems like an open ended question and I feel it is "truly" unanswerable from our perspective.

    But thoughts certainly require energy, but I wouldn't say they require energy to exist, the energy of the thought process is consumed in the coding. In order for one neuron to communicate with another a common code must be shared between them. Which neuron chooses the code? Do individual neurons have abstract thoughts? There are so many different ways to go with this line of questioning its making me neuseous.

    If the entire world were to power down their computers does the internet dissapear, no its locked away in codes shared between nodes, and has the ability to exist indefinately with no added input of energy until it needs to be decoded. If one person powered up, the internet is still not able to be used, if paralelled to the internet the secret to thought must lay in communication, because it cannot exist as a stand alone entity.

    Do any fundemental thoughts exist as stand alone entities? If something as simple as a point in space cannot be extricated from its dual ,the line, can anything? Perhaps the dualities are the fundimental roots of the decision making process, the decision upon whose code was used in reference to neuron1 and neuron 2 becomes not clear at the fundemental level.

    And you also seem to be operating under the pretence that your thoughts are the cause, in the cause-effect relationship of thought and actions. I say this because of the hierarchy you imply here "as in decisions, plans and consequent bodily actions" You may have to abandon this, because your thoughts are giving you the illusion that they are responsible for physical action, but it just may be that the physical action is responsible for the thought, or perhaps its just another duality?

    whats it all mean, I dont know, thats for you to decide.
  3. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    26 Jan '11 03:51
    Originally posted by joe shmo
    This seems like an open ended question and I feel it is "truly" unanswerable from our perspective.

    But thoughts certainly require energy, but I wouldn't say they require energy to exist, the energy of the thought process is consumed in the coding. In order for one neuron to communicate with another a common code must be shared between them. Which neuro ...[text shortened]... aps its just another duality?

    whats it all mean, I dont know, thats for you to decide.
    They say the brain uses up about 10 watts of energy, so with 10 billion brain cells plus others, lets say for now 10 billion cells, then each thought looks like about 1 nanowatt of energy to make. 1/1000th of a microwatt.
  4. 26 Jan '11 06:42
    Originally posted by Taoman
    Imagine a biological being, ourselves, deciding, planning and building a structure, let say a wall. It could be the Great Wall of China, a retaining wall in our garden, or a wall to hold back a mass of water, with consequent potential energy arising from energy transfer etc.
    You seem to be making some serious errors here. You seem to be implying that because energy is used (or rather converted) when an action is taken by humans (such as building a wall) then that energy came from our decision to build the wall and thus from our thoughts. This is clearly wrong. Next you will have to conclude that when we knock down the wall and the energy is converted the other way, then our thoughts absorb all that energy.
  5. 26 Jan '11 10:38
    Energy is used to maintain the brain's operations but you cannot associate energy with thoughts directly.
  6. 26 Jan '11 10:55
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Next you will have to conclude that when we knock down the wall and the energy is converted the other way, then our thoughts absorb all that energy.
    Personally, I'm not entirely opposed to this idea, but I'd have to insist that someone else think up the sanitation facilities, should we decide to build more than a wall.
  7. 26 Jan '11 10:58
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Energy is used to maintain the brain's operations but you cannot associate energy with thoughts directly.
    I don't understand this statement. What exactly do you mean by "the brain's operations"?
  8. 26 Jan '11 12:13
    Originally posted by Zenarctic
    I don't understand this statement. What exactly do you mean by "the brain's operations"?
    Brain cells use energy.
  9. 26 Jan '11 13:16
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Energy is used to maintain the brain's operations but you cannot associate energy with thoughts directly.
    I think it could be associated fairly directly. It is possible to 'see' thoughts with advanced brain scans. Whether this is by monitoring blood flow or electrical currents, I am not too sure.
  10. 26 Jan '11 14:02
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I think it could be associated fairly directly. It is possible to 'see' thoughts with advanced brain scans. Whether this is by monitoring blood flow or electrical currents, I am not too sure.
    That does not imply that e.g. thinking about X costs Y amount of energy.
  11. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    26 Jan '11 16:10
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    That does not imply that e.g. thinking about X costs Y amount of energy.
    That's exactly what it means, there is a flow of ions across channels, that can be quantitatively measured in terms of energy.
  12. 26 Jan '11 16:40 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Taoman
    What is the energy of a thought? Now before you hard scientists start with the bunkums, let me explain.
    Imagine a biological being, ourselves, deciding, planning and building a structure, let say a wall. It could be the Great Wall of China, a retaining wall in our garden, or a wall to hold back a mass of water, with consequent potential energy arising from e ...[text shortened]... d arise.
    What do you think about this questioning thought? Like to put some "energy" into it?
    “...Is there any transferring or changing of energy in the production of a thought, ...”

    yes, all the energy that brain cells produce including electrical energy is converted to heat energy which is then transferred via the blood stream to the rest of the body and is then radiated out and dispersed to the external environment.
    But that is totally irrelevant to the energy to build a wall etc -why should there be an “energy transfer” from our brains/thoughts to something we build that stores/requires energy? There is nothing in the laws of physics that says that there must be just such an energy transfer from our brains/thoughts to something we build/do etc.
  13. 26 Jan '11 17:02
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Brain cells use energy.
    As twitehead and sonhouse already pointed out, there should be a direct correlation between the energy used and the thought produced, which is why I didn't understand your statement. Though one has to ask if different humans can be "wired" differently such that a specific thought goes one way in yours, and another in my brain (for instance), thus requiring different amounts of energy for different individuals (should the pattern for the same thought require more brain cells to fire in me than you). Which is the other reason I asked you to clarify as I thought you were going there.

    If the same thought "cost" a different amount of energy between individuals, it could help explain why some things are extremely hard for some people to understand (or even digest), while almost trivial for others (and vice versa on various topics) since I'd have to think that in the core every life form unconsciously attempts to preserve energy as far as possible. If it requires more energy it will require more of a conscious effort to go there in your mind.

    Merely speculating, of course.

    Hoh! I just realised. What if my concious thoughts require more energy than, say yours, and that's the reason I often just sprout nonsensical thoughts. My brain just doesn't want to waste the energy needed unless it has to. That would also explain why I'm almost brilliant in times of trouble.

    Oh! Science? I'm sorry, I thought I was in the goofing around forum. (Whissle!)
  14. 26 Jan '11 17:14
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    That's exactly what it means, there is a flow of ions across channels, that can be quantitatively measured in terms of energy.
    Yes, however it is not evident that "thinking more" also increases the energy the brain uses (in any case, I think most energy is used simply to heat up the brain). It's also hard to quantify thought, which is something you need to do if you want to measure its energy usage.
  15. 26 Jan '11 17:29
    Originally posted by Zenarctic
    If the same thought "cost" a different amount of energy between individuals, it could help explain why some things are extremely hard for some people to understand (or even digest), while almost trivial for others (and vice versa on various topics) since I'd have to think that in the core every life form unconsciously attempts to preserve energy as far as ...[text shortened]... it requires more energy it will require more of a conscious effort to go there in your mind.
    I find that very unlikely. What makes things easy or hard to understand is more a function of past experience and current brain wiring and probably has nothing to do with the amount of energy required.

    There are tendencies to avoid unnecessary energy usage as this overall tendency results from evolution, but it is not to the extent that you seem to be implying.