Human brain capacity for memory

If your brain were a computer

I actually disagree slightly with Fabien. From all the data that has come out of the research, long term memory does not appear to have any practical limit. We don't forget because we "run out of space", rather, the memory still exists but we're unable to access it because we don't have the right retrieval cues.

This explains the phenomenon where you walk into a room/smell something/see something and suddenly remember an old childhood experience you thought you'd forgotten. The memory was always there, you just couldn't access it. So theoretically, we should be able to activate every memory you've had from age 3 till now if we could only find the right triggers.

There are currently 2 dominant theories of forgetting: Decay theory of forgetting and Interference theory. Neither of which cite "filling up" as the reason for forgetting. In fact, there seems to be no evidence supporting the idea that forgetting happens because the brain simply runs out of space.

Thus it may be true that any physical system must have a storage limit, but in the case of our remarkable brains, that limit is practically infinite.

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What is the memory capacity of the human brain?

Current estimates of brain capacity range from 1 to 1000 terabytes!

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