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Journal Article

Neuropsychological constraints to human data production on a global scale

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Gros, C., Kaczor, G., & Markovic, D. (2012). Neuropsychological constraints to human data production on a global scale. The European Physical Journal B, 85: 28. doi:10.1140/epjb/e2011-20581-3.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-4DC3-2
Which are the factors underlying human information production on a global level? In order to gain an insight into this question we study a corpus of 252–633 mil. publicly available data files on the Internet corresponding to an overall storage volume of 284–675 Terabytes. Analyzing the file size distribution for several distinct data types we find indications that the neuropsychological capacity of the human brain to process and record information may constitute the dominant limiting factor for the overall growth of globally stored information, with real-world economic constraints having only a negligible influence. This supposition draws support from the observation that the files size distributions follow a power law for data without a time component, like images, and a log-normal distribution for multimedia files, for which time is a defining qualia.

We study the influence of nonsynaptic plasticity on the default dynamical state of recurrent neural networks. The nonsynaptic adaption considered acts on intrinsic neural parameters, such as the threshold and the gain, and is driven by the optimization of the information entropy. We observe, in the presence of the intrinsic adaptation processes, three distinct and globally attracting dynamical regimes: a regular synchronized, an overall chaotic, and an intermittent bursting regime. The intermittent bursting regime is characterized by intervals of regular flows, which are quite insensitive to external stimuli, interceded by chaotic bursts that respond sensitively to input signals. We discuss these findings in the context of self-organized information processing and critical brain dynamics.