Do scientists know by what mechanism biological brains/biological neural networks store data?

I was thinking about @kenorbs question about implanting nanobots to build an AGI on top of human wetware.

I only have a vague notion that we store data in our brains by altering synapses?

Links, Criticism and Detailed Explanation welcome.

I also would love a decent description of how a vanilla Artificial Neural Network stores data.


  1. How is data stored in a biological Neural Network?

  2. How is data stored in an Artificial Neural Network?


Second question first: Data is stored in an ANN in the form of weights in the adjacency matrix between neurons. During training, these weights are updated by a learning algorithm (such as backpropagation).

First question: according to award-winning neuroscientist Tim Bliss:

“It’s been accepted really since the turn of the 20th century, since the time of the Spanish neuroscientist Ramón y Cajal, that really the only place where memories can be stored is at synapses, the junctions between nerve cells.

A protein called the NMDA receptor plays a key roll in the strengthening of synaptic connections (which is more broadly achieved by a form of Hebbian Learning).


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