2008 Brains and computers

2008 Brains and computers - Brain vs. Computer Memory in...

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Brain vs. Computer
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Memory in brain and computer Brain Synaptic modification: rapidly modifiable Æ gene activation but not readily transferred. DNA- passed from generation to generation, not subject to rapid adaptive change Development of language to pass memories down from generation to generation. Computer Storage in bistable elements as binary code (0, 1). The number of these elements that can be compressed into a small area has increased dramatically over time as they have become smaller and smaller. in multiple loci. Many different forms of memory storage: RAM, ROM, Cache, Dynamic RAM, Static, Ram, Flash Memory, Memory Sticks, Virtual Memory, Video Memory, BIOS
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Memory storage in neurons and computers
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Brain and Computer Processing Brains are much slower processors than computers Individual neurons carry out about 200 operations/sec (spike rate), very slow compared to the 10 9 operations/sec for transistors in computers. Breaking the problem up into parallel problems (as in parallel computing) does not speed up brain computation appreciably because unit tasks that are not subject to further reduction still take a minimum number of slow neurons. So the brain is very slow compared to a computer, i.e., the brain cannot be thought of as a computer in this sense. The brain works primarily as a retriever from memory rather than as a processor. The brain does not run a program made up of instructions written in some code (Fortran, Basic), but accesses synapses. So to compare processing between a brain and a computer, one compares the number of connections the brain accesses per sec. (10 16 ) with the number of instructions a computer carries out per sec. by a computer (10 9 ). Thus it would take 10 7 computers to carry out this task (size, power consumption??).
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Parallel computing in the brain is still slow because each operation requires a large minimum number of slow steps
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This note was uploaded on 07/15/2009 for the course BIO 208 taught by Professor Lorne-mendell,s during the Fall '08 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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2008 Brains and computers - Brain vs. Computer Memory in...

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