> Another approach is to count the number of possible brain states.
> Like kinetic gas theory, the important number is the number of
> identifiable states, waaay smaller than set of all possible states.
Let's see, there are around 10^11 neurons, and assuming each neuron
can be in two states (this is a big and uncertain assumption; it might
be better to say they can be in N different states, where N could be
large) there are 2^10^11 possible brain states.
If we regard a cortical column as the smallest unit of cognition, and
that differences in activations of cortical columns are what is
important, then there will be on the order of 2^10^9 possible
distinguishable brain states (assuming a binary activation of the
columns; very doubtful).
(the log of the ratio between these estimates gives an entropy of
10^11 bits or so; we can obviously stand plenty of noise)
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