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The creative processing your brain won’t tell you about

We’ve known for some time that our senses detect an inordinate amount of signals. More than we’re ever aware of.

Now new research is showing exactly how much of the things we don’t realize we’re sensing are being interpreted by our subconscious. And the findings shed light not only into how the brain works in unison with our sight, but also how things we don’t consciously see impact our creativity.

The research stems from the University of Arizona, where doctorate candidate Jay Sanguinetti demonstrates that our brains see things that we don’t. The brain then gives meaning to objects just outside of our natural vision without consciously registering that we’ve “seen” something.

When you’re in a museum, walking through a bookstore, sitting in a cafe or at school, you’re not aware of exactly how much you’re actually seeing, hearing, feeling, and smelling. But, as the study shows, your brain is more than aware.


Simulating 1 second of real brain activity takes 40 minutes and 83K processors

Researchers have simulated 1 second of real brain activity, on a network equivalent to 1 percent of an actual brain’s neural network, using the world’s fourth-fastest supercomputer. The results aren’t revolutionary just yet, but they do hint at what will be possible as computing power increases.

A team of Japanese and German researchers have carried out the largest-ever simulation of neural activity in the human brain, and the numbers are both amazing and humbling.

The hardware necessary to simulate the activity of 1.73 billion nerve cells connected by 10.4 trillion synapses (just 1 percent of a brain’s total neural network) for 1 biological second: 82,944 processors on the K supercomputer and 1 petabyte of memory (24  bytes per synapse). That 1 second of biological time took 40 minutes, on one of the world’s most-powerful systems, to compute.

If computing time scales linearly with the size of the network (a big if; I have no idea if this would be the case), it would take nearly two and half days to simulate 1 second of activity for an entire brain.

via GigaOM.