Essays on Science and SocietyNeurobiology

Building blocks of the human brain

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  12 Oct 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6411, pp. 169
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav1252


Classical computer software programs perform tasks in series: One algorithm has to be performed, and the output of that algorithm is used as an input into another. However, the most powerful computers in the world take advantage of the fact that complex computational tasks can be broken down into independent components. Distributing the computation over many parallel processes taking place simultaneously rapidly increases the overall speed. This paradigm is very similar to how the human brain performs its complex functions.