Simulating 1 second of human brain activity takes 82, processors Simulating 1 second of human brain activity takes 82, processors By Ryan Whitwam on August 5, at 1:
And, of course, as evidenced by the fact that this article is both written and being read, we know there is no more advanced piece of wetware walking the earth than the human brain.
But even calling the brain by such a term implies that it is some kind of supercomputer whose components can be analyzed as you would your Mac… and that an understanding of the interplay of hard- and software on our desktops allows us to model that most mysterious of organs.
Well, actually, in some ways it is. After all, both are electrical at their core, and both are based on binary logic. But when it comes to relative computing power, there is simply no contest. The building block of electronic computers is the logic gate, through which all information processing flows.
Traditionally, the logic gate employs transistors. Sure, there are other options, such as optical and molecular. And out on the fringe, researchers are tinkering with crazy ideas like spintronics and quantum gates. Thus, inwe could fit only 2, transistors on a chip.
Inwe can squeeze in something like 2. By contrast, our brains must seem puny. In fact, that is far from the case. The human brain is truly unique. To begin understanding its complexity, you have to look at it on the cellular level.
Neurons do the heavy lifting, i. They surround neurons and provide support for them and insulation between them i.
Bidirectional communication exists between glial cells and neurons, and between glial cells and vascular cells. Until recently, it was believed that the number of glial cells outnumbered neurons by times, but the latest research indicates that their numbers are actually approximately equal.
The staggering thing is how many of these cells there are. There are just too many, and they are just too small, to actually count.
If you search the data, you will find estimates ranging from 50 billion to a trillion, with billion a nice round number that a lot of people tend to agree on. Here we determine these numbers by using the isotropic fractionator and compare them with the expected values for a human-sized primate.
We find that the adult male human brain contains on average That, however, would be an error. This, highly simplified, is what a garden-variety neuron looks like: Every neuron has an axon usually only one.
When a dendrite is stimulated in a particular way, the neuron to which it is attached suddenly changes its electrical polarity and may fire, sending a signal out along its single axon where it may be picked up by the dendrites of other neurons.
The links are formed at narrow spaces between the sending and receiving neurons, known as gap junctions. The two connexons bond across the intercellular space, allowing electrical or chemical signals to pass from one cell to another.
Electrical synapses, like the one above, are characterized by a microscopic gap junction, nanometers, as you can see.
Signals are transmitted across a chemical synapse in about 2 milliseconds msand an electrical synapse in about 0. But the real eye-opener is how many there are. Babies are born with about 2, synapses in an average neuron.
By the time the adult human brain is fully formed, that number has ballooned toSynapses are the true closest analogue to transistors. They are similarly binary, open or closed, letting a signal pass through or blocking it.Mar 02, · How powerful is the brain compared to a computer?
originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. The Brain vs. The Computer. Throughout history, people have compared the brain to different inventions.
In the past, the brain has been said to be like a water clock and a telephone switchboard. The computer can be compared to human brain because of its logical capacities. I would like to think that the computer was modeled after the capability of human thinking.
However, the downside of. For decades computer scientists have strived to build machines that can calculate faster than the human brain and store more information.
The contraptions have won. The world’s most powerful. Mar 27, · The computer can be compared to human brain because of its logical capacities. I would like to think that the computer was modeled after the capability of human .
Given that, when you measure the ability of the human brain vs. a computer at face value, it seems like a computer would be faster and smarter, but there is actually far more to the story. If you had posed this same question a few decades ago, there would be no question the human brain could run circles around computers, but is that still true?