Brain Capacity?

Eugene Leitl Eugene.Leitl at lrz.uni-muenchen.de
Mon Mar 10 15:31:51 EST 1997


On 10 Mar 1997, Kevin Spencer wrote:

> > [ how many bits can the brain store? ]
> Whatever this number turns out to be, I wouldn't put any faith in it.
> The brain isn't a computer based on binary logic.  It certainly doesn't
> store information as bits.

Of course. However, the brain does store information, which is measured 
in bits. We're talking about a system of some 10^11 elements, equipped 
with about 10^4 synapses (though much higher convergent/divergent 
connectivites are known), each having a dynamic range of 
somewhat less than 10 bits. The time scale of synaptic events is roughly 
1 ms, 1 ksample/s.
 
On the whole, both the processing bit rate and the representational 
capacity (thought to be represented as attractors in a high-dimensonal 
state space) are stupendous (a good workstation equals roughly to 100 
realtime biologically realistic neurons).

Obviously, we have still a very long way to go. Silicon circuitry limits 
us to idiots, not savants.

> Kevin

ciao,
'gene
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