SV: Capacity of the brain

Martin Knopman mknopman at
Sun Sep 5 00:52:43 EST 1999

Ken Collins wrote in message ...
>Jan Vorbrueggen <jan at> wrote in
>message news:y43dwwzaws.fsf at
>> Quite so. I'd say the three-dimensional character of the wiring and its
>> plasticity is what makes otherwise inferior hardware that performant. And
>> our estimate of the complexity of a single cortical neuron is still
>> On the other hand, cortex runs at less than 100 Hz. The difference in
>> operating frequency of about 10^7, currently, can make up for a lot.
>Forgive me, please... 'inferior hardware'?
>surely, you jest?
>or, show me the 'chip' that can recreate itself, and its 'momentary'
>topology, all in accord with what a system's other 'chips' are doing (in
>same way), on the fly, and retain the ability to do so for 50-100+ years,
>despite an ever-changing input set.

I believe that Jan is talking about inferior in terms of raw speed and
straight computational ability, not the adaptability of the components.

Personally, I would be very surprised, seeing the efficiency which evolution
tends to expose (to 'demand'), if the internals of neurons (down to the
genetic level) are not utilized in the computational processes of the brain.
But that's raw, naive speculation.


Martin Knopman

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