The Human Mind As A Computer Essay

The Human Mind As A Computer Essay

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The idea about how the brain operates has been around for centuries and the amount of ideas surrounding it is endless. Some of the ideas that people have proposed are that the brain is meant to cool the blood or the brain is an electrical device (Thiede 2016). Although there are many theories that explain how the human mind works, one in particular is the theory that the human mind is a computer. John von Neumann proposed the idea of the human mind as a computer in 1958 and it became popular from his book about it. The similarities that have been found between humans and computers involve the way that cells and diodes function. Unfortunately, John von Neumann did not complete the idea of the human mind as a computer because he passed away before the idea was completely finished (Gigerenzer and Goldstein 134-135).
A specific topic in John von Neumann’s theory is that the nerve impulses that occur in the brain are similar to the vacuum tubes in a computer. The nerve impulses change often and go at a fixed speed. It is often described as an electrical disturbance that has about 50 millivolts and lasts for about a millisecond. The vacuum tubes in a computer also have electrical relays that are similar to the one that occurs in the brain. Another feature that both the vacuum tube and nerves have is the thickness of the wall. The volume of the central nervous system and the density of the vacuum tubes are not exact. The last feature that both the vacuum tubes and nerves need is energy. Although, they do not get the energy the same way, both need it to function.
An additional idea is that both a computer and human brain have is the ability to store memory in a similar ways, but not the same way physically. A nerve cell could access memo...


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...van Giezan 2012). John Von Neumann’s idea of memory did not mention any idea about the memory being changed from misinformation, but just the idea that memory does exist (Von Neumann 1958). Lastly, the human mind requires less energy to do activities than a computer. It does not need as much electricity from the neurons as a computer would need to get a chip to run (Watson 1997). When Von Neumann’s theory was proposed, there were very rough answers to explain how much electrical signals were needed to get the brain functioning. He used the rough numbers from how much a vacuum tube would produce to make an educated guess about the human brain (Von Neumann 1958). In general, John Von Neumann theory of the brain as a computer brought some good research about the brain to people’s awareness, which resulted in new findings about the brain that is now useful to others.

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