Brain Evolution Information Explosion - Sanjoy Sanyal


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This information explosion has got me thinking. When we want a particular piece of information, we have to search for hours. When we do not want something, we are flooded with millions of them. So I decided to show a link between the human brain and the current information explosion, that has led the information overload.

This Sanjoy Sanyal, Professor and Course Director of Neuroscience in the Caribbean

Part of this PPTX is based on the work of Professor Rudolph Hanka of University of Cambridge.

Educational Value: Shows relation between human learning capacity and information load in today's digital era of information plethora

Tags: digital storage, human brain, information explosion, information overload, neural connectivity, neurons, sanjoy sanyal, synapse

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Brain Evolution Information Explosion - Sanjoy Sanyal

  1. 1. BRAIN EVOLUTION ANDINFORMATION EXPLOSION Dr Sanjoy Sanyal MBBS, MS, MSc, ADPHA Professor of Neuroscience
  2. 2. Evolution of Mankind and Their SkullHominid BCE ~ SkullSpecies CapacityAustralo- 4 million 400 ccpithecus yearsafricanusHomo habilis 1.7 million 600 cc yearsHomo 0.7 million 900 ccergaster / yearserectusHomo sapien 30,000 1450 ccneander- yearsthalensisHomo sapien Present 1500 ccsapiens
  3. 3. Neurons and Neural Connectivity Humans have 1011 Neurons in their Brain (Rudolph Hanka, Cambridge) They have been doubling every 3 million years (Dotted graph line) Brain capacity is not determined by number of Neurons alone; Number of Synapses are more important If ALL Neurons were connected to ALL Neurons, there would be 5 x 1021 Synapses (Given by the Formula n (n-1) / 2 (where n is the number of Neurons))  But that is not the case. Such rate of synaptic connectivity Humans have limited Neural would have doubled every 1.5 connectivity, of only 1014 million years (Green graph line) Synapses (Red graph line)
  4. 4. STM vs. General Intelligence Factor Postulate: General Intelligence Factor (G) is limited by channel capacity of Short Term Memory (STM) Mental Power / Capacity of Short Term Memory (STM) = Mental speed of information processing X Duration of information in STM (memory span) This is given by the Formula: C(bits) = Ck(bits/sec) × D(sec), Where;  C = Mental power or capacity of STM (in bits)  Ck = Mental speed of information processing (in bits / second)  D = Duration of information in STM (in seconds)
  5. 5. Information Explosion Since 1400, Information has been doubling every 3 decades or so (Proved by Rudolph Hanka of University of Cambridge) By 1500 it had increased 8-fold (23) By 1600 it had increased 64-fold (26) By 1700 it had increased 512-fold (29) By 1800 it had increased 4,096-fold (212) By 1900 it had increased 32,768-fold (215) In this millenium it is expected to register a 262,144-fold increase (218 ) over 1400
  6. 6. Information Overload There is no change in actual skull (and brain) capacity over last several thousand years Human Brain has only limited number of Neurons and Synaptic  Humans are already well past connections the stage when their Brains can Channel capacity of handle all the information available today. Human Memory is  Automation, Digital Storage limited and Seamless Access are the Information is only solutions to leverage the increasing exponentially value of Information Explosion