Brain Capacity?

Andrus Aaslaid laid at
Thu Mar 13 10:05:09 EST 1997

Hi all.

> (1) no one knows how info is stored in the brain (I repeat: no one), so
> one cannot calculate it rationally--e.g. by estimating the number of
> cells and their interconnections and their dendritic spines and their
> multilevel (non-discharge) graded states, etc., etc., etc.

Totally agreed.
And .. let's speculate a bit. As far as the psychology explains, the
information stored inside brain is not exactly the boolean bits, but a
bunch of realtions, concerning a (phonetic) object(s). The phomemas take
up very low amount of the memory, depending from our native language we
have learned/heared several months after birth. From these phonema
tokens the actual words can be formed, representing the incoming
information. (BTW, that conversion rate seems to have it's limitations.
Try counting the objects in your mind, not saying the numbers loud. The
counting rate, 'ntil you will not do it somehow tricky, is limited to
the speed, you can say numbers out loudly..). 

Ok, now you see the first couple of things in your life. You see the
dog, and since you donot have any frames for the dog, the dog allocates
lot's of the space in you brain. All the experiences you get with the
dog, are connected with the dog image/smell/behaviour frist. Then you
see the cat. Since you donot know neither the word for the dog nor the
cat, The phonetic memory will not be affected, but the cat "properties"
get to be linked with the dog ones. And since you saw the dog first, you
cannot describe the cat without using the dog references (tail,
4-legged). After getting the phonetical symbol for the tail and leg, the
memory gets a bit reorganized, because the cat's tail is not connected
any more with the dogs one, but with the phonetical properties. The
information itself gets "packed". 
(Another break - if you read the book, the words for most of the people 
getting connected with the phonemas "backwards". This way, the actual
text is quite a difficult to remember, since there is very little
possibilities to make references. The problem with the text is, that
this stores into memory like it was, making _additional_ relations.)

Long strange story.. The point I'd like to make is, that there's no way
to count the information amount exactly, if we donot know all about the
information structrure. It's like a measuring, how many pounds the
little gray box can accomodate, without knowing the kind of the material
we like to store into the box.

> If you can think of a way of randomly sampling
> EVERY POSSIBLE KIND of info, maybe you can come up with an estimate of
> how much your subjects have "stored"..



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