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Brain's Memory Capacity 10 Times More Than Thought

The human brain has a memory capacity that is ten times more than believed till now, new research indicates. Researchers from a group of US institutions, including the Salk Institute, MIT, University of Texas at Austin and University of California at San Diego have found that connections between brain cells, called synapses, vary in size much more than previously thought and they keep adjusting the size. This adds to the brain's processing capacity hugely.


Credit: Salk Institute

"This is a real bombshell in the field of neuroscience," said co-senior author of the study Terry Sejnowski, professor at Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California, US.

"Our new measurements of the brain's memory capacity increase conservative estimates by a factor of 10 to at least a petabyte, in the same ballpark as the World Wide Web," Sejnowski noted.

The new research published in the journal eLife also answers a long standing question as to how the brain is so energy efficient and could help engineers build computers that are incredibly powerful but also conserve energy.

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