[extropy-chat] Question on computational power of brain

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Thu Mar 15 08:03:54 UTC 2007

On Thu, Mar 15, 2007 at 12:04:26AM +0100, Anders Sandberg wrote:

> Most of the energy cost comes from maintaining the membrane voltages
> rather than the neural signal themselves. So the efficiency is pretty low.

Christof Koch in "Biophysics of Computation" suggests as a possible Ph.D.
thesis "It would be interesting to 'poison' an entire brain with TTX to block sodium
action potentials, and to measure the associated energy metabolism in
absence of any spiking. Is it possible that the fraction of energy devoted
to homeostasis versus computation/communication is heavily skewed towards
the former while in our microprocessors it is towards the latter?"

The book is from 1999, so a lot has happened in ops/J since.
I don't see why with MRAM-derived (static) logic and asynchronous (clockless)
designs energy drain of nonactive elements wouldn't be exactly zero.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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