How wide is the human brain
Brain research How many gigabytes does our brain have?
You can hardly estimate that. At most, you can specify a lower limit, which may be around 1000 gigabytes, but this figure is also a pretty arbitrary estimate.
The problem is that the brain processes information very differently than a computer.
- First difference: computers and hard drives are built by people who have a plan and know how many circuits they are building and thus also how much storage capacity the device will ultimately have. Brains, on the other hand, are not built; they grow organically.
- Second difference: the computers work strictly digitally and the elementary components work binary, i.e. according to the principle 0 or 1: current flows or current does not flow. It's much more complicated with the brain.
The brain consists of the order of 100 billion to one trillion nerve cells. But the information is not in the individual cells, but in the synapses, i.e. in the connections between the nerve cells. It is said that each individual brain cell has an average of 1,000 to 10,000 connections to other nerve cells. This leads to at least 100 trillion synapses.
In contrast to computer circuits, the following principle does not apply here: current flows or does not flow, or nerve cells do not fire or fire. Rather, the activity is graduated here; the nerve cells can fire at different intensities. So you can't just convert that into "zeros" and "ones".
Filter, process, save
The next problem is that not every activity in the brain implies information saved - a large part of the activity simply serves to filter and process stimuli. Technically speaking, one can say: In contrast to the computer, it is not so clear in the brain how much power goes into the "processor" - that is, into the processing of information - and how much actually goes into the information storage. After all, we process a lot of information that we immediately forget it again, which does not even go into short-term memory.
Brain research still has many unanswered questions
Quite apart from that, neuroscientists still cannot say exactly how memory works, what exactly happens in the brain when I recognize a face or remember what the capital of Botswana is called. Do a certain number of synapses become active or are memory contents also in the form of chemical compounds? And how much information do I really refer to when I come up with the answer to a question? All of this has been so little researched that it would be presumptuous to ascribe a certain storage capacity to the brain.
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