Sign up FAST! Login

Our brain's memory capacity is 10 times larger than we thought.


Stashed in: Brain, Awesome, Singularity!, Storage!, The Singularity, Memory!

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Holy smokes, this is amazing:

The human brain's memory capacity may be as much as 10 times larger than previously thought, according to a new study by scientists in California that looked at how hippocampal neurons in the brain function with low energy but high computational power.

"This is a real bombshell in the field of neuroscience," said Terry Sejnowski from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. "Our new measurements of the brain's memory capacity increase conservative estimates by a factor of 10 to at least a petabyte, in the same ballpark as the World Wide Web."

The researchers built a 3D reconstruction of rat hippocampus tissue – the memory centre of the brain – and in doing so, discovered something strange. Synapses, the junctions that form between neurons, were being duplicated in about 10 percent of cases.

To measure the differences between these duplicate synapses, Sejnowski's team reconstructed the connectivity, shapes, volumes, and surface area of the rat brain tissue at a nano-molecular level, using advanced microscopy and computational algorithms.

"We were amazed to find that the difference in the sizes of the pairs of synapses were very small, on average, only about 8 percent different in size," said Tom Bartol, one of the scientists. "No one thought it would be such a small difference. This was a curveball from nature."

Good thing they figured that out before the Singularity...

Yes Halibutboy! Now there's more room for computer chips in the brain!

Uh... I meant that whatever assumptions the Singularity people made about the necessary preconditions for preserving their brains were off by 10x at least on just the ROM. Is that what you meant too?

Yes. We add more computer chips to the wetware that can do those 10x local backups. :)

Is it so very wrong to have wished the Singularity people would have transferred their brains into insufficient storage?

No, it's not wrong. Not everything is worth saving. 

You May Also Like: