Researchers at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine have estimated that the rate, at which the human retina transmits information, is as quick as an Ethernet connection. An abstract from the press relese: The investigators calculate that the human retina can transmit data at roughly 10 million bits per second. By comparison, an Ethernet can transmit information between computers at speeds of 10 to 100 million bits per second. Investigators have known for decades that there are 10 to 15 ganglion cell types in the retina that are adapted for picking up different movements and then work together to send a full picture to the brain. The study estimated the amount of information that is carried to the brain by seven of these ganglion cell types. Kristin Koch, a PhD student in the lab of senior author Peter Sterling, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience said: Spikes are metabolically expensive to produce. Our findings hint that sluggish cells might be ‘cheaper’, metabolically speaking, because they send more information per spike. If a message must be sent at a high rate, the brain uses the brisk channels. But if a message can afford to be sent more slowly, the brain uses the sluggish channels and pays a lower metabolic cost.