joshcahoon at cs.com (JoshCahoon) writes:
> How do people go about estimating the informational capacity of the brain in
> terms of bits? And how do they apply bits to the capacity of consciousness? I'm
> reading The User Illusion by Tor Norretranders, and he keeps contending that
> consciousness processes about 16 bits per second, while the entire brain
> processes about 11-16 million bits per second. Do ya'll think there is any
> basis for these estimates?
Are you sure you're stating these numbers correctly? 16 bits per
second seems much too low -- that's less than 3 ascii characters per
As for the brain, the number also seems too low. There are around 10
billion nerve cells in the human neocortex, and I think most people
would say that each one processes at least a few bits per second
(though it isn't clear how much of this processing is actually
*used*). This would give on the order of 100 billion bits per
If the numbers you give were in bits per *millisecond* rather than
bits per second, they would be more reasonable.