Neuropsychological constraints to human data production on a global scale

Open Access
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2011-20581-3

Cite this article as:
Gros, C., Kaczor, G. & Marković, D. Eur. Phys. J. B (2012) 85: 28. doi:10.1140/epjb/e2011-20581-3


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.


Interdisciplinary Physics 

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© The Author(s) 2012

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Theoretical PhysicsGoethe University FrankfurtFrankfurtGermany

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