Comparing computer to the human brain

One consequence of failing to recognize this difference has been in the field of neuropsychology, where the cognitive performance of brain-damaged patients is examined to determine the computational function of the damaged region. In contrast, the computations performed by more realistic i.

A classic example of pattern recognition is face recognition. This is known as byte-addressable memory.

Computers versus Brains

Unlike computers, processing and memory are performed by the same components in the brain Computers process information from memory using CPUs, and then write the results of that processing back to memory. For example, a lasting debate in cognitive psychology concerned whether information is lost from memory because of simply decay or because of interference from other information.

The brain is a self-organizing system This point follows naturally from the previous point — experience profoundly and directly shapes the nature of neural information processing in a way that simply does not happen in traditional microprocessors. No such distinction exists in the brain.

In other words, combinations of multiple linear functions can be modeled precisely by just a single linear function.

Lichtenberg Although the brain-computer metaphor has served cognitive psychology well, research in cognitive neuroscience has revealed many important differences between brains and computers. Brains have bodies This is not as trivial as it might seem: So computers are more powerful [than] humans when it comes to executing simple step-by-step instructions.

See here for more on this. For example, one of the primary mechanisms of information transmission appears to be the rate at which neurons fire — an essentially continuous variable.

Synapses are far more complex than electrical logic gates Another pernicious feature of the brain-computer metaphor is that it seems to suggest that brains might also operate on the basis of electrical signals action potentials traveling along individual logical gates.

The brain-computer metaphor obscures this important, though perhaps obvious, difference in raw computational power. Unfortunately, because of the poorly-understood nature of trauma-induced plasticity, the logic cannot be so straightforward. This can lead to a variety of interesting changes, including some that seem to unlock unused potential in the brain known as acquired savantismand others that can result in profound cognitive dysfunction as is unfortunately far more typical in traumatic brain injury and developmental disorders.

Tweet For as fast and powerful as computers have become, they still pose no match for the human brain. The brain uses content-addressable memory In computers, information in memory is accessed by polling its precise memory address. Humans are spectacular at several things, including pattern recognition, language abilities, and creative thinking.

Appreciating these differences may be crucial to understanding the mechanisms of neural information processing, and ultimately for the creation of artificial intelligence. Humans are more powerful than computers at tasks that are not easily broken into simple steps.

As neurons process information they are also modifying their synapses — which are themselves the substrate of memory.

How powerful is the human brain compared to a computer?

This adds to the complexity of the processing taking place at each synapse — and it is therefore profoundly wrong to think that neurons function merely as transistors.

Similarly, networks of neurons can fire in relative synchrony or in relative disarray; this coherence affects the strength of the signals received by downstream neurons.

More recently, a research study found that the human brain can hold 10 times as much information as previously thought.

We are capable of recognizing faces in a variety of contexts. Computers are not nearly as good as humans at such tasks. Any abstract information processing account of cognition will always need to specify how neuronal architecture can implement those processes — otherwise, cognitive modeling is grossly underconstrained.

Of course, similar things can be done in computers, mostly by building massive indices of stored data, which then also need to be stored and searched through for the relevant information incidentally, this is pretty much what Google does, with a few twists.

All told, scientists now believe that the capacity of the human brain is about a petabyte. Although this may seem like a rather minor difference between computers and brains, it has profound effects on neural computation. Because the brain is nonlinear, and because it is so much larger than all current computers, it seems likely that it functions in a completely different fashion.

Processing speed is not fixed in the brain; there is no system clock The speed of neural information processing is subject to a variety of constraints, including the time for electrochemical signals to traverse axons and dendrites, axonal myelination, the diffusion time of neurotransmitters across the synaptic cleft, differences in synaptic efficacy, the coherence of neural firing, the current availability of neurotransmitters, and the prior history of neuronal firing.

In linear networks, any function computed by a 3-layer network can also be computed by a suitably rearranged 2-layer network. The signals which are propagated along axons are actually electrochemical in nature, meaning that they travel much more slowly than electrical signals in a computer, and that they can be modulated in myriad ways.

In retrospect, this debate is partially based on the false asssumption that these two possibilities are dissociable, as they can be in computers. The brain is a massively parallel machine; computers are modular and serial An unfortunate legacy of the brain-computer metaphor is the tendency for cognitive psychologists to seek out modularity in the brain.

A surprising set of experiments by Jeremy Wolfe has shown that even after being asked hundreds of times which simple geometrical shapes are displayed on a computer screen, human subjects continue to answer those questions by gaze rather than rote memory.

Many are now realizing that this debate represents a false dichotomy.Free Essays on Comparison Between Human Brain And Computer. Get help with your writing.

1 through The human brain adapts to new circumstances and learn new computer faster than ideas REPAIR: Like all machines, computer is much easier to repair than the human body. Mar 27,  · That’s adequate time for a whole new technology/discoveries to come to being and alter our definition of a human brain or a computer is.

the decision making unit scanning and comparing. For as fast and powerful as computers have become, they still pose no match for the human brain. Sure, a computer specifically programmed to perform singular task such as, say, playing chess can.

Some Implications of Comparing Brain and Computer Processing Brian Whitworth Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand Abstract Like a computer, the human brain inputs, processes. Comparing a Computer to a Human Body Chassis to Skin A chassis protects the hardware from the environment just like how your skin protects your organs from the environment like if.

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Comparing computer to the human brain
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