Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain capacity limits exponential online data growth

Date:
February 1, 2012
Source:
Springer
Summary:
Scientists have found that the capacity of the human brain to process and record information - and not economic constraints - may constitute the dominant limiting factor for the overall growth of globally stored information.

Scientists have found that the capacity of the human brain to process and record information -- and not economic constraints -- may constitute the dominant limiting factor for the overall growth of globally stored information. These findings have just been published in an article in EPJ B by Claudius Gros and colleagues from the Institute for Theoretical Physics at Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany.

The authors first looked at the distribution of 633 public internet files by plotting the number of videos, audio and image files against the size of the files. They gathered files which were produced by humans or intended for human use with the spider file search engine Findfiles.net. They chose to focus on files which are hosted on domains pointing from the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia and the open web directory dmoz. Assuming that economic costs for data production are proportional to the amount of data produced, these costs should be driving the generation of information exponentially.

However, the authors found that, in fact, economic costs were not the limiting factors for data production. The absence of exponential tails for the graph representing the number of files indicates this conclusion. They found that underlying neurophysiological processes influence the brain's ability to handle information.

For example, when a person produces an image and attributes a subjective value to it, for example, a given resolution, he or she is influenced by his or her perception of the quality of that image. Their perception of the amount of information gained when increasing the resolution of a low-quality image is substantially higher than when increasing the resolution of a high-quality photo by the same degree. This relation is known as the Weber-Fechner law.

The authors observed that file-size distributions obey this Weber-Fechner law. This means that the total amount of information cannot grow faster than our ability to digest or handle it.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Gros, G. Kaczor, D. Marković. Neuropsychological constraints to human data production on a global scale. The European Physical Journal B, 2012; 85 (1) DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2011-20581-3

Cite This Page:

Springer. "Brain capacity limits exponential online data growth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120201123937.htm>.
Springer. (2012, February 1). Brain capacity limits exponential online data growth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120201123937.htm
Springer. "Brain capacity limits exponential online data growth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120201123937.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Earnings Put Smile on Investors Faces

Facebook Earnings Put Smile on Investors Faces

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Facebook earnings beat forecasts- with revenue climbing 61 percent. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins