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The consensus is that the human brain uses energy at a rate of 20 Watts. Energy consumption of 20 Watts is 20 Joules per second.A Kilocalorie = Calorie = 4184 Joules.So a human brain uses a (Kilo)Calorie of energy in about 3.5 minutes.
Brain Signal Persists Even in Dreamless Sleep 02.10.2008Neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have taken one of the first direct looks at one of the human brain's most fundamental "foundations": a brain signal that never switches off and may support many cognitive functions..."The brain consumes a tremendous amount of the body's energy resourcesóit's only 2 percent of body weight, but it uses about 20 percent of the energy we take in," says Raichle. "When we started to ask where all those resources were being spent, we found that the goal-oriented tasks we had studied previously only accounted for a tiny portion of that energy budget. The rest appears to go into activities and processes that maintain a state of readiness in the brain."