The human brain would have a phenomenal storage capacity
The human brain could store all information on the entire web. Researchers have discovered that it could store 10 times more data than previously thought. Our brain would have extraordinary information storage capabilities, much more than we thought until today. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, thanks in particular to the 3D modeling of the hippocampus.
Our brain has a huge memory capacity
Our brain could store 1 petabyte of data. This figure may not tell you anything, it represents all information on the web, 1 million billion bytes. “Our new measurements of brain memory capacity multiply by 10 previous estimates, the equivalent of 1 petabyte, the same size as the World Wide Web,” said neuroscientist Terry Sejnowski, who was involved in the study.
It is thanks to the 3D modeling of the hippocampus of a rat, a brain area in the center of memory, that scientists have made this discovery that is “the effect of a real bomb in the field of neuroscience,” says Professor Sejnowski. By studying this modeling, the researchers realized that the synapses were able to change their size in order to increase the memory function tenfold. Synapses, which are the junction between neurons, would be able to adapt to the volume of information they must process.
A more complex brain than we thought
Before this study, scientists thought that there were only a few different types of synapses, small, medium and large, but in fact, there would be 26 different categories. This would demonstrate that our brain has much more information storage capacity than we could imagine.
By applying this function to technology, it would be possible to create computers that are much more efficient and more energy efficient, the scientist emphasized.
How to calculate the memory capacity of a human brain?
The storage capacity in a computer memory is measured in bits, each of which can have a value of 0 or 1. In the brain, things are obviously more complex.
Its “total storage capacity” depends on the number of synapses (that is, the number of functional contact areas between two neurons) in the brain, but also on the synaptic forces that can be distinguished.
These synaptic forces, which provide information on the activity between a neuron and another neuron, can be measured. And all these data – a number of synapses and strengths – can finally be translated into bits.
The human brain is made up of about 86 to 100 billion neurons!
Each neuron makes about 1,000 connections with other neurons or about 100,000 billion connections. If each neuron could store only one memory, the lack of space would probably be a problem.
This would be like having only a few gigabytes of storage space, like the memory of an iPod or a USB key. Fortunately, the brain works differently.
In reality, neurons combine so that everyone contributes to store a lot of memories at a time. This has the effect of exponentially increasing the memory capacity of the brain to something of the order of 2.5 petabytes (1 petabyte = 1 million gigabytes).
Concretely, what is it?
Here is a little “trick” to give you a little idea of the phenomenal capacity of human memory. If your brain worked as a video recorder, it could contain three million hours of TV programs!
To overcome all this storage, it would be necessary to leave your television working permanently for more than 300 years. In other words, it is humanly impossible to exhaust the memory capacity of the human brain.
And you, are you more like an elephant or head-up?
We are students of first scientific. In view of the anticipated test of the tray, we realized a TPE on the subject of human memory.
The different types of memory
Memory is a function that allows you to consciously keep and return something that you have learned before. It is better to talk about plural memories. According to Tulving’s model, humans present five memory systems. These different types of memory interact with them but depend on distinct brain regions. Thus some patients may have some forms of memories preserved and others altered.
There are three temporal categories of memories – (a) Sensory memory, (b) Working memory, and (c) Long-term memory.
Sensory memory is the ability to keep an element in memory between 200 milliseconds to three seconds through visual perception and auditory perception. The sense organs transmit information to certain brain areas where they are analyzed very briefly. That’s how you can remember what you’ve seen, touched, and said.
Working memory or short-term memory is the second category that will allow the mind to retain information during tasks. They are processed to be stored in the long-term memory. The central administrator controls the operations when we use elements from other regions of the brain. The two neural loops, visual and phonological, temporarily store the data before it is erased by the next task.
The most classic example of working memory is the search for an object that has been lost while avoiding places where we know it will not be! It includes the structure of the prefrontal cortex and the parietal cortex.
Long-term memory is the third category of temporal memory that results from lasting storage within certain areas of the brain. It can be subdivided into declarative and non-declarative memory.
Declarative memory or explicit memory is based on a record of cultural or general knowledge that an individual can consciously emerge with semantic memory. So the mere fact that a man walked on the moon may have been related to our own lives but is stored as an element of knowledge. The semantic memory concerns the temporal and frontal lobe.
At the same time, explicit memory deals with personal memories dated and localized with episodic memory. The regions of the brain involved in episodic memory depend on the content of the original experience. Thus the rather visual experiences activate the visual areas of the brain whereas to remember the voice of a person asks rather the auditory cortex. Episodic memory involves the structure of the hippocampus, frontal lobe, and cortical regions.
Non-declarative memory, called procedural or implicit memory, is not accessible to consciousness contrary to declarative memory. These are memories that concern associations and know-how such as cycling. These gestures are learned through their repetition and then stored in long-term procedural memory. It does not require a conscious reminder of learning gestures.
It envelops the cerebellum, the caudate nucleus, and the putamen. We have all these different forms of memory but we are not equal to memory!
Human Memory Enhancement by Implant
For the first time, a brain implant to boost memory has been successfully designed and tested by researchers from the University of Southern California. The performance of short-term human memory and work memory would have been significantly increased. A technological trail to fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
This is a world first, which relays an article of New Scientist . A brain implant would have increased the memory capacity of volunteers up to 30%, according to the American newspaper. The device was presented by scientists from the University of Southern California at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience , held in Washington DC from November 11-15, 2017.
This implant stimulates human memory by imitating the way we learn. Comprised of electrodes implanted in the brain, it sends small electric shocks to the hippocampus, a region of the brain that is vital for learning and memory. According to Professor Dong Song of the University of South Carolina who piloted this research, short-term memory could be improved to 15% and working memory – essential for performing cognitive tasks – by 25 %.
A three-year job
The team, which worked on this study for three years, said it had recruited 20 volunteers with epilepsy and already equipped, for this reason, electrodes targeting the hippocampus of the brain. This allowed the scientists not to install an additional implant in the brain.
First, study participants were asked to memorize images, so researchers would collect data on stimulated brain activity during learning. They then modeled the neural recordings to work on the specific locations that were activated during the first test.
We write the neural code to improve the function of memory. It has never been done before.
In a second session, researchers used the implant to stimulate subjects’ brains with micro-electric shocks. These electrical signals crossing several regions of the hippocampus were of the same nature as the natural signals we receive when we try to remember something. The implant has simply come to strengthen the work of natural memory.
A revolutionary process
“We are writing the neural code to improve the function of memory,” said Professor Dong Song in the American newspaper New Scientist. “This has never been done before.”
Many initiatives have been conducted for several years to try to boost the brain through neuroscience. Behind the very “neuralink neuralink neuralink” of Elon Musk, there is, for example, “the Dreem headband“, developed by the French start-up Rhythm. By emitting very discreet sounds during the night, this one increases the duration and the effectiveness of the deep sleep, a phase which consolidates the memories.
This implant initiative within the hippocampus is still an unprecedented step. In addition to helping students with their classes, it could help fight Alzheimer’s disease. One more step towards the increased human, and towards the “cyborgisation “.