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What's the human brain's MAXIMUM data storage capacity ? Any idea ?

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posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 02:14 AM
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Most of us know that hard drive storage capacity in our pc's, laptops, etc is measured in millions of (or mega) bits of information, commonly referred to as MegaBytes (Mb) and GigaBytes (Gb). Current hard drive technology is capable of storing in excess of 500 Gb of data and some have even exceeded 2 TerraBytes (Tb) of storage capacity.

This got me thinking about that wonderful organ between our ears, namely the human brain, and it occurred to me that I have no idea whatsoever of it's MAXIMUM data storage potential. I tried a quick Google but didn't really come up with anything definitive.
One would have to assume that there MUST be an upper limit as I assume we can't keep on storing new data indefinitely. Is memory loss over time just nature's way of freeing up storage space already used to allow new data to be assimilated and stored ? So, how much of the brain's data storage potential is used on average ... 10% ? ... 20% ? ... 60% ?
Is it even theoretically possible to completely use up the brain's entire storage capacity ? Is it even worth speculating on the possible repercussions in such an eventuality ?

Has anyone come across any studies that can put a scientifically proven DEFINITIVE number on how much data the human brain can store or is it simply a case of "we know the brain stores data/information but we're clueless as to an upper limit".
edit on 30/12/11 by tauristercus because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 02:25 AM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 


It is unknown but there are some guesses, you can look first to the capacity of the neuron and then to a bunch of interconnected neurons, the capacity of a neuron is not 1 o 0 like a computer and it is potentiated but the number of connections. So the capacity is dynamic and evolves since it not only optimizes for redundancy, similarity but connections (between concepts), this is why knowledge capacity in a brain cannot be directly measured or its location constrained like in a computer file, add to this the input and output fuzziness and any test would be extremely hard to perform at best you will get some estimates but I wouldn't put much faith in them.

There is even a theory that nothing that you see is truly forgotten (unless the brain is damaged), it just never gets out into you consciousness file-system...

Another good trait that a brain has, is its deducting and speculative imagination capabilities. It can with a above normal error probability generate valid concepts and answers to something that it really had no express knowledge of...


edit on 30-12-2011 by Panic2k11 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 02:26 AM
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ive read something like this ages ago and the number was really low something like 20gb or something, but it stores it in an extremely efficient way.



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 02:27 AM
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I think our capacity is what we make it. There are times where we'd like to forget things and there are times where we'd try and learn a new math formula and we start off saying, "I won't remember all of this crap!" So we forget events as time passes and of course there is amnesia, but even then some recover.

I like to think my mind has checkpoints of memory and within each checkpoint there are files of nouns that I remember, ya know, places, people, and things. Then I try and pinpoint the time, usually the year I was engaged with a noun. Then jog from that point.

Sometimes we may see something that reminds of a person or event that we have completely forgotten. Like last week, I was at work and I seen a kid reading "Lady and the Tramp" I remembered a plethora of things and events unrelated to the book, but the book reminded me of back when I had the book and brought me to a checkpoint within my mind that I had completely forgotten.

So I believe we don't truly have a capacity, at least until we die of course.
edit on 30-12-2011 by Mizzijr because: literary



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 02:28 AM
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NVM. By the time I posted there were already better answers....
edit on 12/30/2011 by Ex_CT2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 02:29 AM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 


Unfathomable number when our DNA becomes opened and crystallized when our next ascension comes. One day in the 4th density you will remember so much



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 02:31 AM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 


Well for starters our brains are not exactly like a HDD..you could never fill up your brain, it can remember everything (if you had the required IQ, right genes, great health, etc, but of course most of us lack that, so our brains just recycle old memories, and weens out the ones we don't need, or thinks we dont need, but it doesn't actually store anything.



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 02:32 AM
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Some days I think a good % of my fellow man have about the capacity of an old floppy disk.


In real terms though, I believe the answer is unlimited. If there is actually a limitation we can't organically adapt to and get around, then by the time we can actually measure the number, we'll have the technology to artificially increase it and it'll become unlimited at that point anyway.

The day we can answer this question though, we'll have reached a whole new level of development.



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 02:36 AM
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www.scientificamerican.com...
mradomski.wordpress.com...
s8int.com...
www.merkle.com...
scienceblogs.com...
answers.google.com...

It's anywhere from 1 terabyte to 2.5 petabytes from what I can see. I think it's probably a couple of petabytes.



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 02:46 AM
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reply to post by ChaoticOrder
 


And if that isn't enough, you always have the option of external memory....

External memory of the brain
(shameless self promotion!!)

It's not how much you can remember, it's knowing where the information is stored.

Peace



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 02:49 AM
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What's the Human brain's MAXIMUM date storage capacity?

Anything you want it to be...



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 02:57 AM
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I think my capacity is full . Everytime I learn something new , it pushes some old stuff out of my brain . Last week I took a home wine making course , then forgot how to drive


Homer J Simpson



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 03:00 AM
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5 million petabytes

2nd line.



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 03:03 AM
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Originally posted by isitoveryet
5 million petabytes

2nd line.


You could have used that second line to expand on that number.....maybe?


I like exact numbers. 5 million petabytes it is...


Peace
edit on 30-12-2011 by operation mindcrime because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 03:04 AM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 


What units?

Libraties of Congress?

Generally, data is stored in structure within the brain. Structure can have more connections than there are discrete elements (like neurons). The structure of connections is what holds memories but there are also data-reduction algorithms that reduce actual image type memories to symbols.

Ie, we see a car accident but when we are asked later what model and color the car was, we often don't remember the specifics because we have discarded the actual image representation of the scene and replaced it with symbols like "car" and "street" which may lack those attributes.



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 03:07 AM
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This 1 terabyte to 2.5 peta bytes is I believe non-sense. Imagine those people who are around who do not forget anything. Not like us normal chaps who forget most things... These people don't forget anything at all. Crazy as that sounds. I would say that 2.5 petabytes of information wouldn't be enough for these people.

Then what about the man with no brain, he only has like 1 miliimeter of brain connected to his brainstem, the rest of his skull is hollow or something. But he acts and is like a normal person. Nothing wrong with him except most of his brain is missing... How much would his brain capacity be?

I dont think the physical has anything to do with it to be honest. Think about it, we're 99.99999% empty space, and the other 0.0000% is like electrons constantly popping in and out of existance as they move along thier wave of probability, to finally hit something and exist again...

brain matter... dont impress me much.



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 03:13 AM
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If I were to ponder a guess, I'd say it's somewhere in the petabyte range. The thing is, some regions of memory are a reserved type though. Remembering how to walk, chew food, speak, etc. The actions seem simple on the surface, but there has to be a lot of refinement in the data we obtain when growing up. Still the human brain seemingly has a lot more plasticity and space available for arbitrary knowledge when compared to other species.

The way that information undergoes compression has to be really interesting too. I don't think we store any memories in a "raw" format. Not to mention its done with a distributed set of analog waveforms combined with certain chemical carriers and not a simple stream of binary data we're talking about.

As for myself? I'm sure I know a lot more than I think, given my odd path in life, all the random crap I read about, and prior education. But to put that into computer terms, my file lookup table is likely partially corrupted or prone to being badly depreciated in areas - which often leaves me with CRS.
It looks like mental laziness on the surface, but there's got to be more to it than that. If only I knew how to fix it (and some attention span issues), I'd probably be a bonafide genius. It's also likely I'd be in a lot of good company.



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 03:17 AM
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Well I know mine's none.




posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 03:29 AM
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I think the brain cross references memories to save space, so when similar events occur you reference mostly the same information. I would say proof for this lies in the times that you recall a memory that you believe to be true only to find out that was 2 seperate events. I also believe that the brain does not store information in the conventional way like a computer would, I believe that common images, words and integers are indexed and referenced which is why we find it much harder to remember complex images and integers.



posted on Dec, 30 2011 @ 03:39 AM
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Originally posted by michael1983l
I think the brain cross references memories to save space, so when similar events occur you reference mostly the same information. I would say proof for this lies in the times that you recall a memory that you believe to be true only to find out that was 2 seperate events. I also believe that the brain does not store information in the conventional way like a computer would, I believe that common images, words and integers are indexed and referenced which is why we find it much harder to remember complex images and integers.


Unless when your brain is "broken".....

Autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire draws spellbinding 18ft picture of New York from memory

Savants are amazing.

Peace
edit on 30-12-2011 by operation mindcrime because: (no reason given)



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