The computers in our home or the phones in our hands have storage small storage. But the mind behind its making has a big capacity. The storage capacity of the human brain is very impressive. When someone asks what is the fastest thing in the universe. Some might answer light, rocket, etc. The rhetorical answer would be “Imagination”. We are the most powerful supercomputers in the whole world. Our brain thinks and imagines at the speed where nothing has ever reached. As fast and impressive the speed is, storage power is also on the same level. So let’s talk about the spectacular power and storage capacity of brain.
The brain is called the processor and the storage of our computing system. This is an interesting and fascinating organ of our body. Scientists do much research with the human body, and the new facts always fascinate us. As a kid, I always used to wish for a memory card for my brain where I could store all answers for exams. In reality, our brain has so much storage space that ordinary memory cards of this time can’t even deliver.
There is a misconception among many people that we just use a certain percentage of our brain. The common saying is that we just use 10% of our brains. Actually, we use all of our brains as it stores memory in different parts. During various activities, specific parts perform the designated tasks. So every part of our mind is active during some activity. It is a very complex system, and so is the concept of assessing its capacity. The human mind is very complex, and it is hard to understand.
Quantifiable Memory Size
At first, there is no simple way of measuring capacity. Neuroscientists have to quantify the power into an understandable human amount. So, they have derived power in terms of computer storage units that are bytes. Some scientists state that the brain capacity of humans is about 2.5 Petabytes of data. That is enough to store over 200 years of conscious data for us.
This calculation is based on synapses between billions of neurons in our brain. The study suggests this based on the assumption that each synapse is roughly 1 byte. So the amount of data comes by multiplication of the number of neurons and the synapses. According to a study by Stanford University School of Medicine, around 125 Trillion synapses happen in the Cerebral Cortex. The stated storage amount is not entirely accurate according to some Neuroscientists. Some synapses that are taken into account may sometimes be a result of multiple synapses. So the scientists suggest a range of 100 Terabytes (100×1024 GB).
2.5 Petabytes or 100 Terabytes is very large for any computer at this time. However, this also can’t be taken as wholly accurate. Some studies suggest that there is a flaw in this study. The working of our mind is very complex, and scientists are trying to understand it from the beginning. Our memory becomes stronger with experience and practice, which means the connections between neurons become stronger. However, these are very fragile in strength. Dangerous disease and head trauma can affect them negatively, which affects human memory. This means our mind is powerful but also delicate.
The Future and research
2.5 Petabytes is not a dream level storage. Many servers have several exabytes of storage at their disposal. But in view of an average human, that is a lot of storage. The irony is that we are still unable to harness its power. We regularly struggle to make it work exactly as we want it. Many of us may be imagining how easy it would be just to save all the images of books in mind and give exams. Our minds are fascinating, and the calculation it does is also very impressive.
Read More: 5 Most Dangerous Chemical Compounds
The human brain is one of the most power-consuming organs but if we compare it to our devices, it is very efficient. It is said that our brain only takes the energy that is enough to light a small bulb. However, if we ought to have a computer of that size, it would take the energy that is needed for a city.
The latest discovery of “Programmable ROM” inside the human body has been done. It has managed to develop a technology to store, erase, and restore digital bits in the DNA of a living cell. We still have a lot to discover and see. These days some companies are also telling their ancestry using their DNA. It is quite impressive because people know from where they come and it is exciting.
(This post was first published in Delta Digit Blogspot site (deltadigit.blogspot.com) and imported here after migration to this domain)
- What Is the Memory Capacity of the Human Brain?: Scientific American
- Originally Published: 2012/10/11