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Q: Human brain capacity in MB or GB ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: Human brain capacity in MB or GB
Category: Science > Biology
Asked by: twistedpixel-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 26 May 2005 05:49 PDT
Expires: 25 Jun 2005 05:49 PDT
Question ID: 525801
I was having a curious think to myself the other day and was wondering....

I appreciate that it's hard to work out considering the things you
forget etc, but what is the average capacity of a human brain given in
megabytes (or more likely) gigabytes?
Subject: Re: Human brain capacity in MB or GB
Answered By: jackburton-ga on 26 May 2005 06:53 PDT
Hi Twistedpixel,
Current estimates of brain capacity range from 1 to 1000 terabytes!
"Robert Birge (Syracuse University) who studies the storage of data in
proteins, estimated in 1996 that the memory capacity of the brain was
between one and ten terabytes, with a most likely value of 3
terabytes. Such estimates are generally based on counting neurons and
assuming each neuron holds 1 bit. Bear in mind that the brain has
better algorithms for compressing certain types of information than
computers do."
I like this explanation:
"The human brain contains about 50 billion to 200 billion neurons
(nobody knows how many for sure), each of which interfaces with 1,000
to 100,000 other neurons through 100 trillion (10 14) to 10
quadrillion (10 16) synaptic junctions. Each synapse possesses a
variable firing threshold which is reduced as the neuron is repeatedly
activated. If we assume that the firing threshold at each synapse can
assume 256 distinguishable levels, and if we suppose that there are
20,000 shared synapses per neuron (10,000 per neuron), then the total
information storage capacity of the synapses in the cortex would be of
the order of 500 to 1,000 terabytes. (Of course, if the brain's
storage of information takes place at a molecular level, then I would
be afraid to hazard a guess regarding how many bytes can be stored in
the brain. One estimate has placed it at about 3.6 X 10 19 bytes.)"
The Technology of Storage
Search terms: [ capacity brain equivalent  ], [ capacity brain terabytes ]
Subject: Re: Human brain capacity in MB or GB
From: r1ckycheung-ga on 26 May 2005 08:41 PDT
That's funny!
Subject: Re: Human brain capacity in MB or GB
From: shyutanman-ga on 26 May 2005 08:44 PDT
Holy crap - thats like a supersized ipod in the head.  I wonder how
many songs that can hold?
Subject: Re: Human brain capacity in MB or GB
From: richard-ga on 26 May 2005 10:38 PDT
It's always amazed me that the lyrics to "Alexander's Ragtime Band,"
among other things, are stashed somewhere in my brain available for
near-instant recall whenever I want them.

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