Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
How much information can your brain store? © iStock

How much information can your brain store?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

The human brain can store an impressive amount of data as memories, but just how much information is this?

Asked by: Alex Cooper, Preston

Advertisement

Human brains store information in a way that's not easily measured, nor easily comparable with computers. The unofficial record for remembering the digits of pi is 83,431 decimal places, which would require less than a hundred bytes to represent on a computer.

But anyone can instantly recognise several thousand human faces, from almost any angle and irrespective of expression, hairstyle or lighting. To do this with a computer would require storage of hundreds or thousands of gigabytes.

Read more:


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.

Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content