The metabolic cost of neural information

@article{Laughlin1998TheMC,
  title={The metabolic cost of neural information},
  author={Simon B. Laughlin and Rob R. de Ruyter van Steveninck and John C. Anderson},
  journal={Nature Neuroscience},
  year={1998},
  volume={1},
  pages={36-41}
}
We derive experimentally based estimates of the energy used by neural mechanisms to code known quantities of information. Biophysical measurements from cells in the blowfly retina yield estimates of the ATP required to generate graded (analog) electrical signals that transmit known amounts of information. Energy consumption is several orders of magnitude greater than the thermodynamic minimum. It costs 104 ATP molecules to transmit a bit at a chemical synapse, and 106 - 107 ATP for graded… 
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