People Innovation Excellence

Does the Brain Work Logarithmically?

New research suggests it does, when it’s the efficient way to process information


Steven Cherry: Hi, this is Steven Cherry for IEEE Spectrum’s “Techwise Conversations.”

It seems automatic to us that the midpoint between 1 and 9 is 5, but if you think about it, it’s not at all obvious that that our brains are wired for a linear scale. In fact, in many situations, we perceive the world logarithmically.

It makes sense. The difference between 1 and 3 gazelles, if you’re hunting gazelles, is as important as the difference between 3 and 9—and on a log scale, 3 to the first power is halfway between 3 to the zeroth and 3 squared.

As numbers get larger, logarithms tend to flatten things out, and sure enough, add 20, say, and the difference between 29 gazelles and 23—or even 21—is hardly noticeable at all.

To some extent, this has been known for some time. The Weber–Fechner law, actually two laws, goes back more than 100 years and uses a logarithm in giving the ratio of physical stimuli to perceived intensity. But some new research, published in the Journal of Mathematical Psychology, has found a neurobiological basis for this for the first time. And what’s more, it also theorizes that the brain wiring responsible for it has a correlate when it comes to electronic information systems. [read more..]


Published at :
Leave Your Footprint

    Periksa Browser Anda

    Check Your Browser

    Situs ini tidak lagi mendukung penggunaan browser dengan teknologi tertinggal.

    Apabila Anda melihat pesan ini, berarti Anda masih menggunakan browser Internet Explorer seri 8 / 7 / 6 / ...

    Sebagai informasi, browser yang anda gunakan ini tidaklah aman dan tidak dapat menampilkan teknologi CSS terakhir yang dapat membuat sebuah situs tampil lebih baik. Bahkan Microsoft sebagai pembuatnya, telah merekomendasikan agar menggunakan browser yang lebih modern.

    Untuk tampilan yang lebih baik, gunakan salah satu browser berikut. Download dan Install, seluruhnya gratis untuk digunakan.

    We're Moving Forward.

    This Site Is No Longer Supporting Out-of Date Browser.

    If you are viewing this message, it means that you are currently using Internet Explorer 8 / 7 / 6 / below to access this site. FYI, it is unsafe and unable to render the latest CSS improvements. Even Microsoft, its creator, wants you to install more modern browser.

    Best viewed with one of these browser instead. It is totally free.

    1. Google Chrome
    2. Mozilla Firefox
    3. Opera
    4. Internet Explorer 9