The brain does not operate like a computer. It is far better than a computer, but it must be “built” during childhood by stimulus and interaction with the environment; it is made whole by continual use and practice.
We actually know very little about the human brain. We have sketchy wiring diagrams, just like the ones in your car owner’s manual, and we know how much and what type of fuel it requires, just like your car. Gas – auto: Sugar – brain. The brain is similar to the 12 V battery in your vehicle, in that it needs to be charged up to a minimum energy level before it will run and maintain all the basic stuff. It takes very little energy above this baseline to do work (thinking). Thinking does not use much energy, regardless how subjectively taxing the experience. Your vehicle and every other gizmo require vast amounts of energy: a dinky microwave uses 1200 watts.
The brain is incredibly efficient despite its messy global tangle of signal generation and transmission. That 20 watt light bulb in your fridge is an equivalent energy user; some scientists have calculated that the brain’s power requirements are as low as 12 watts. In fact, the rush of research in Artificial intelligence is to achieve systems that can approach the spectacular efficiency of the brain.
How Much Power Does The Human Brain Require To Operate?
Simulating the brain with traditional chips would require impractical megawatts of power. One scientist has an alternative.
An interesting visual presentation: