Any information takes up a certain amount of memory. Our memories are also information, which means that the human brain, like a hard disk, must have a limited volume. Is this really so and how much information can our brain store? Let's figure it out!
How does the memorization process take place? The working component of the brain is a neuron – an electrically excitable nerve cell. It is neurons that receive, process, store and give information back through electro-chemical signals.
The recording process takes place by combining several neurons into a single network. Whenever a person needs to remember some information, the brain activates the neural networks associated with them. Accordingly, the more connections between neurons, the more memory.
True, the activity of nerve cells is quite energy-intensive for the body. At rest, the brain consumes 20% of the energy it produces. With active mental work, consumption can triple, dramatically reducing the level of glucose in the body.
To conserve energy, the brain continually optimizes its neurons, removing long unused networks. That is why it is natural for a person to forget knowledge. Either the most vivid or frequently used memories remain in the head.
How many gigabytes are there in us? The average human brain contains approximately 100 billion neurons. Each of them can participate in a maximum of 10,000 neural connections. Each neuron contains 4.7 bits of information. Based on this data, the researchers concluded that the total human memory is 1 million gigabytes (1 petabyte).
Is it a lot? For us, this is an almost endless volume. To perfectly learn English, a person will need 1.6 megabytes of memory. It takes 0.1 petabytes to memorize 36 million volumes in the Library of Congress.
Theoretically, you can learn all the books in the world, only it will take a very long time.
It will not be possible to completely fill the human memory with information even for several lifetimes. However, living with a huge memory would be extremely inconvenient.
To maintain all neural connections in working order, a person will need to use them regularly, spending an enormous amount of energy. To replenish it, the erudite will have to chew food for days on end. And the brain cannot work 24/7, it also needs to rest.