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How Much Memory Capacity Does the Human Brain Have?

Human brains have an immense memory capacity, so much so that it would be virtually impossible to fill one up in a human lifespan, even if a person remembered everything he or she had ever seen, done, or heard. Most brains have a memory capacity of about 2.5 petabytes, which is 2.6 million gigabytes. To put that in perspective, most Blu-Ray® discs hold about 50 gigabytes. This means that if the brain was a digital TV recorder, it would hold about 3 million hours of TV shows.

More about the brain and memory capacity:

  • There are at least 14 different types of memory, including procedural, perceptual, cultural, and collective memory, among others.

  • In 2009, Google processed about 24 petabytes of data every day.

  • Studies show that infants as young as 6 months old can recall data after a 24 hour break.

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More Info: www.scientificamerican.com

Discuss this Article

Viranty
Post 8

@RoyalSpyder - I agree with you about this article. Not only is it very fascinating, but it's simply amazing what you can find by doing simple online research. Who ever thought that the brain could hold 3 million hours of television shows? That's great potential for limitless knowledge. To say that our brain is like a supercomputer is an understatement.

Chmander
Post 7

@Viranty - Though I can't answer either of your questions, this is just my opinion, but I think babies don't remember being born because (as you stated), their brain in still developing. On another note, would anyone even want to remember being born? Imagine what an unpleasant experience that would be. In fact, I even know some people who (surprisingly) remember their birth, and they've described it as traumatic.

Viranty
Post 6

@RoyalSpyder - I'm not sure how that works, but I have a couple of questions regarding this too. For example, why don't babies remember much, especially when they're born? Is it because their brain is still developing? The brain certainly is an interesting piece of work, and it contains far more knowledge and memories than most people can even think or imagine.

RoyalSpyder
Post 5

This is easily one of the most fascinating articles I've read so far on wiseGEEK. I never knew that the human brain had such a massive memory capacity. Although it does make me wonder how people are able to block traumatic events from their memory, and how the brain processes these unfortunate events. Does anyone have an idea of how that works?

anon351158
Post 4

Well, when someone sees something they like,

they want to remember that! So looked it up and did a little research and it said that the human body does more.

anon332052
Post 2

How does one measure the memory capacity of the brain?

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