Human Brain vs Computers - Something Unbelievable

You won't be same after reading this. Nature has granted us with a immensely powerful computer fitted in a very tiny space with very less power consumption. You can't even utilize its full capability in several lifetimes. The more we use our brain the more it learns and become more efficient by practicing the same task again. If you want to know the power of your brain compared to modern computers in a terminology that you understand then read this complete article.

What is there in our brain ?


  • Our brain have 80 to 100 billion neurons.
  • Same amount of Neuroglia, also called glial cells. These cells protect and insulate neurons, provide nutrition, remove dead neurons and destroy pathogens.
  • Neurons are found in 26 different sizes.
  • Size of neurons varies from 4 microns (.004 mm) to 100 microns (.1 mm). Their length may vary from few millimeters to few feet.
  • 400 miles of Capillaries to provide blood and nutrition to them.
  • Each neuron makes 5000 to 10000 connections with other neurons.
  • So there are 500 to 1000 trillion connections in our brain. 

Brain compared to Computers

Even the best computer in world can't reach the capability of brain. However you may not fit a pendrive in your skull to store some movies in it, but your brain can remember things faster than any super computer. The memory of our brain has the capability to store much more data than any super computer on earth till now.

  • Memory Capacity of Brain:  According to Paul Reber, Professor; Director of Brain, Behavior, & Cognition at Northwestern University, our brain can store upto 2.5 Petabyte (which is one million GB). This much memory is enough to play continuous video on TV for 300 Years.
  • Processing Speed: A neuron can fire upto 200 times per second. For 86 billion neurons it makes 17.2 trillion action potentials. According to Dr. Joe Dispenza, Neuroscientist, our brain processes 400 Billion bits of information per second, but yet we are aware of 2,000 only. All of our senses send 11 million bits of data per second to the brain but it can process only upto 60 bits of data per second. It is possible only if you compress 11 million bits into just 60 bits (just like we make zip files in computers). Such compression technology is not yet possible for man made computers.
  • Power consumption: If we use the same memory as our brain and same processing speed in a computer then it will use 1 gigawatt of power, which will need a nuclear power plant. But when it comes to our brain, it uses less than 20 watt of electricity in the form of electrical impulses between neurons. Our brain is just 2% of our body weight but consumes 20% of our calories and 25% of oxygen. In resting state our body needs 1300kcal of energy which is equal to 63W of energy. 20% of this consumption is just 12.6W . So 12.6 watt can be stated as power consumption of brain. This much efficiency is impossible to imagine in any man made machine.
  • Serial Processing and Parallel processing: Some researches found that our left brain do the serial processing tasks while right brain do the parallel processing tasks.

Interesting facts about Brain

These fasts will make you believe more in superiority of human brain compared to any computer.
Cognitive Reserve (brain's cache memory): It increases in size with a person keeps learning new things all over his life. When such person takes rest from busy life after retirement, his or her cognitive reserve remains same and his efficiency in mental tasks remains much better than the people of similar age group.
Neuroplasticity: It is a feature of our brain to learn new things and repair its circuits in case of a damage due to accident or stroke. Previously it was thought that brain can't repair it self after a certain age, but now we know that brain can repair itself through neuroplasticity.

A computer can be programmed to do one particular task much better than a human brain. For example a supercomputer can beat a chess grandmaster, but the same supercomputer can't store visual memories, language skills, cooking skills, thinking ability and most important emotions. Human brain is a capable to control the human body to do any physical or mental task or a combination of both. So these two things are not comparable at all. Man often try to challenge nature, but nature is something to be known, not something to beat. We need to learn a lot from the nature. Thats why we call it mother nature.
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