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What is the formula for calculating the speed of thought?

  1. Nov 26, 2009 #1
    What is the formula for calculating the speed of thought? Also the speed of a thought sent and received from a human brain?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 26, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    I'm not sure there is even a definition, much less a formula for "the speed of thought". Could you describe in more detail what you mean by that? Ie, for the second part - sent and received by what, where?
  4. Nov 26, 2009 #3


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    Gold Member

    If you take the questions literally, it doesn't mean something.
    Physiologically, it may mean the duration of the neural process for the elaboration of this thought.
  5. Nov 26, 2009 #4
    there might be a way to answer it from an Information Theory/Computer Science perspective as far as data processing capacity is concerned. i think i've seen a small subset of the nervous system attempt to be addressed before (the I/O capacity of the hand), but i doubt anyone really has more than a guess on rational thought.
  6. Nov 27, 2009 #5


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    Science Advisor

    Neurons fire at something like an order of milliseconds, if that's any help.
  7. Nov 27, 2009 #6
    It could also depend on what thought your trying to access. This is explained bij how many 'steps' it takes to get to the memory your trying to remember. The steps vary from each other on the lenght of the axon.
    Also memories are not just one nerv, they come in networks linking to other memories giving other association with the memory your retrieving.
  8. Nov 27, 2009 #7
    The question posed by the OP reminds me of 'you're a student with an inquiring mind and a burning energy question or an educator teaching a classroom full of inquiring minds'. (1)

    Office of the Department of Energy (DOE) - Science Education had somewhat the same question on their website:

    1. Energy Resources for Students and Teachers
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
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