Difference Between Brain and Computer

In the field of cognitive science and artificial intelligence, the knowledge of brain and computer is very useful. In artificial intelligence, the human brain is analyzed and used to model different kinds of artificial neural networks to develop a computerized expert system. The basic difference between the brain and computer is that the brain is a natural organ of human body that can make decision on its own, while the computer is a manmade machine that requires sufficient data and instructions to make a decision.

In this article, we will discuss all the major differences between brain and computer that are helpful in the study and development of artificial intelligence and other fields of science and technology. But before that, it is important to learn the basics of the brain and computer so that it will become easy to understand the differences between them.

The Human Brain

The brain or human brain is quite a complex and abstract system. It is constituted with neurons and synapses. A typical human brain contains around 100 billion neurons and about 1012 synapses per cm3. A human brain has a capability to encode, retain, and store the information. This ability is termed as memory, and it the place of brain where all the information, learned processes and past experiences retained.

In the brain, neurons are the living cells that used as the storage unit. These neurons are made up of synapses. Synapses are responsible for transmitting the electric neural impulses from one neuron to another. One most interesting characteristic of the human brain is that it has infinite storage capacity

Another important thing about the human brain is that it does not have a definite topology like a computer network, but it keeps changing its topology regularly with the learning of the person.

What is a Computer?

A computer is an electronic device that can perform a task based on instructions of the user. A computer can perform several tasks based on its programming. A computer is a very powerful machine that can process billions of instruction in few seconds, but when we compare it with the human brain, it is far backward. It is because a computer needs user’s instruction for data processing and also can perform those tasks for which it is preprogrammed. That means it cannot make decisions on its own.

A computer is built up of several electronic components like transistors, logic gates, capacitors, diodes, etc. All these electronic components are connected in a certain fashion to realize the circuit of the computer. In a computer, several types of memory devices are used to store data and information. These memory devices have a fixed storage capacity. When we need to share information among different computers, we have to establish computer networks having a definite topology.

Difference between Brain and Computer

The following table highlights all the significant differences between the Human Brain and a Computer −

Human Brain Computer
Brain is constituted with neurons and synapses. Computer can be constructed using IC, transistors, diodes, capacitors, and transistors.
The memory growth of a brain increases every time synaptic links are connected. The memory growth of the computer can be increased by adding memory chips to it
The brain has a built-in backup system. The backup systems are manually constructed.
Brain has a memory power of about 100 teraflops (approx. 100 trillion calculations/seconds) Computer has a memory power of about 100 million megabytes.
The memory density of the brain is 107 circuits/cm3. Computer has a memory density of 1014 bits/cm3 .
The energy consumption is 12 watts of power. The energy consumption is in terms of gigawatts of power.
The information is stored as electrochemical and electric impulses. The information is stored in numeric and symbolic form (as in binary bits).
The weight of the brain is around 3.3 pounds. Its size and weight varies depending on type system- from a few grams to tons.
The information is transmitted using chemicals that fire the action potential in the neurons. The communication happens using electrical coded signals.
The information processing ability of the brain is low. Computer has the ability to process large amounts of information.
The input or output equipment is the sensory organs. The input and/or output equipment includes keyboards, mouse, web cameras.
Brain is self-organized. Computer has a pre-programmed structure.
Brain implements massive amounts of parallelism. Computer has limited parallelism.
Brain is reliable, and self-maintaining. Since computer performs a monotonous job, it can’t rectify its mistakes on its own.


The most significant difference between the brain and a computer is that the human brain has the ability to make decisions on its own and it can store an infinite amount of information. In contrast, a computer has to be programmed to perform the functions and has a limited capacity to store data and information.