Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How many languages can fit into your brain?

If this guess is anywhere near accurate, pretty much as many as you want:
Although we’re forced to guess because the neural basis of memory isn’t understood at this level, let’s say that one movable synapse could store one byte (8 bits) of memory. That thimble would then contain 1,000 gigabytes (1 terabyte) of information. A thousand thimblefuls make up a whole brain, giving us a million gigabytes — a petabyte — of information. To put this in perspective, the entire archived contents of the Internet fill just three petabytes.

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