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Aug 30, 2009

Are we all visual thinkers ?

The information processing power of our mind is huge, but the conscious mind has a very limited capacity. In other words, we can only consciously think of and manage very few things at the same time.
When we express the capacity of our conscious mind into computer terms, it is very small indeed. Scientists  believe that the capacity of our conscious mind is less than 100 bits per second. It is very important to understand what the incoming flow of subconscious information is, expressed in the same terms :
  • Eyes (vision): 10,000,000 bits per second
  • Ears (hearing): 100,000 bits per second
  • Skin (touch): 1,000,000 bits per second
  • Nose (smell): 100,000 bits per second
  • Mouth (taste): 1,000 bits per second
 The conscious incoming flow of information is, expressed in the same terms : 
  • Eyes (vision): 40 bits per second
  • Ears (hearing): 30 bits per second
  • Skin (touch): 5 bits per second
  • Nose (smell): 1 bit per second
  • Mouth (taste): 1 bit per second
(Source : Zimmerman, M. Schmidt, R. F. and Thews, G.  (1989) The nervous system in the context of information theory. Human physiology pp. 166-173. Springer , Berlin )

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