Classic Computer-brain Analogy

There is a frequent analogy which compares the function of the brain to a computer. This comparison is somewhat concerning considering how incorrect it is. The analogy stems from the information processing model in psychology which is one among many models describing how the brain manipulates information.

The information processing model breaks the process into three parts; encoding, storage, and retrieval. Essentially the steps that this model describes include information being broken into neural code, information being stored, and information being retrieved when needed.

People need to recognise that computers do not operate in any human-like way. Saying that a processor is like the computer's brain is like saying that your brain is like a walnut. The biggest flaw here is that brains are massively parallel in structure while computers are not. A single processor computer can only do one task at a time and sadly Von Neumann architecture is not conducent to neural-like behavior.

1 comment:

  1. An example of a beginners guide teaching that computer processors are the equivalent of biological brains:'s+brain%22&source=bl&ots=IEb4R2_mNn&sig=2YsYIuR4XKXsxEtcv90Z5gr3www&hl=en&sa=X&ei=fN2qUpy1OqPuyAHWhoHwBA&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%22processor%20is%20like%20the%20computer's%20brain%22&f=false