# How to think faster? [closed]

Human brain cells can pass chemical information to each other at a speed just slightly above 400km/h, which is quite fast. However, this has to be multiplied by every cell needed to make a single thought.

Plus, the reaction and process time of every cell involved has to be summed up which, in the end makes us think relatively slowly - at least in my opinion.

So what would a brain require to be faster - how and why?

• This is a huge topic. If you and I were to go grab drinks, I could probably talk to you about it for a few days straight, maybe stopping for eating and bathroom breaks. The limitations of our brain are actually less based on signal transmission than you may think, because our brains are not organized like a computer. We actually think in a totally different way which elides the signal speed issues rather well. The limit of your speed of thinking is actually based on how fast you can develop a consensus, not just neural transmission speed. There's a lot of things we could do... Jul 8 '16 at 1:47
• ... to increase signal velocity which would actually slow our brain down because they would negatively impact our ability to do the incredible parallel processing and analog processing that our brain does so well. Jul 8 '16 at 1:48
• My favorite example: If you are walkking with your eyes closed, and you bump into something with your right hand, not only does your brain react before you are fully aware of it, but in fact your body adjusts the gait of your left foot to compensate before the signal has even propagated up to the brain! Our spinal column does a lot more processing than we might think! Likewise, the patellar reflex is a monosynaptic reflex arc - we actually connect the stress sensor directly to the motor neurons that cause us to kick when our knee is tapped. It's a beautiful system! Jul 8 '16 at 1:49
• Well, you could make everybody else slower, I guess. Jul 8 '16 at 3:37
• Chemical signals at 400km/h? As far as I know that's about the speed of the electrical signals passing through neuron fibres, and chemical signals are much slower.
– Vim
Jul 8 '16 at 4:37

1. Add more myelin to axons. An action potential - also commonly called a "nerve impulse" - can be made to travel faster by adding more myelin to an axon, the part of a neuron that carries electrical signals. For axons with myelin, the velocity $v$ of a signal varies linearly with the diameter $d$, whereas for axons without myelin, $v$ varies with $\sqrt{d}$: