Similiarities and differences
For centuries, the brain
has been compared with all types of inventions. For example, in
the past if you heard a comment about an intelligent man, it would
sound like : "His brain goes like clockwork". Nowadays,
what you'll probably hear would be : "Wow! His brain is as
fast as a computer" Here,
we'll be showing you the similarities and differences between the
human brain and the modern computer.
Note: if you're only looking for
the comparison in speed, processing power and superiority of the
human brain and computer, please proceed to the next section
Vs Machine :::
Functions and Purpose
Both are used for storage of information,
to process information and to run tasks.
In terms of the functions, both are used for mathematical calculations,
carrying out complex algorithms and to storing of crucial information.
Role in society
Both play extremely important roles in society, comerce, entertainment
single living creature survive by quick thinking and reflexes, that
inculdes us. The computer today plays the most important roles from
specialised systems controlling entire production factories to little
"fuzzy logic" chips in washing machines that intelligenty
monitor the washing process.
b) Combining components
Both work by combining the processes of
several components and parts to perform their tasks.
I.e. A computer consists of many many parts, including a motherboard(which
itself would is made up of many parts), the disk drives, the processor,
graphic cards and many more ... all of which has its own roles in
the computer's processes. (
Refer to :: Workings of the
Computer :: for details)
Like a computer, the brain is formed out of parts. Besides having
the left and right brain, there are also parts of the brain that
take care of emotions, mathematical calculations, body CO-ordinations
and many other tasks needed for our daily activities.
( Refer to :: Workings of the
Brain :: for details)
Both work by transmitting "logic signals" to each of their
parts. Signals are both electrical
i.e. A computer works by
using binary ("on"/"off"
logical signals known as "bits", put together as "bytes"
to represent data.) To communicate internally between components,
represent information and store data.
In a way, neurons in the brain are either "on" or "off"
by either firing an action potential or not firing an action potential.
(However, there are some differences between the workings of the
signals of the brain and the computer. This will be discussed in
the next part ::differences::)
c) Upgrading and Evolution
can change with time. (the brain evolves, while the computer upgrades
with technological advances)
i.e. When any computer gets outdated, there are always options
To upgrade, parts To replace faster newer models To choose from.
The brain of modern man is found To be significantly larger than
those of 1.7 million years ago.
Newsweek article "The first Wanderers"
(22/5/2000 issue): May, 2000 a
team of scientists uncovered two 1.7 million year old dmanisi skulls
of Homo ergasters, notably smaller with only with 780cc of capacity
compared with the 1500cc of modern man's skull capacity; proof of
the human brain's evolution)
Both can increase their memory storage capacity.
Computer memory grows by adding computer chips. Memories in the
brain grow by stronger synaptic connections.
computers and brain have repair and "backup" systems.
The brain has "built-in back up systems" in some cases. If one pathway
in the brain is damaged, there is often another pathway that will
take over this function of the damaged pathway.
Degrading with time
Both can degrade. Computers break down and brain cells deteriorate
all machinery, computers break down with time. Brains also deteriorate
with age, losing their functions and slowing down because of lower
counts of chemicals and hormones (e.g. testosterone )
Newsweek article "How Alzheimer's Lay
Siege to the brain" (20/4/2000 issue): Alzheimer's
occur because of clogging of excessive built-up masses of Amyloid
plagues (brain protein in charge of growth & maintenance of
neurons) and collapse of microtubules because of break away s of
their supporting structures,"Tau protein". )