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How fast does the brain work?

Not very fast by computer standards. An action potential (i.e., nerve impulse) lasts about 1 ms (millisecond). Axons, the long output connection from a cell, come in two basic types: myelinated and unmyelinated. Myelinated axons have an extra layer of “insulation,” which allows the action potential to travel about 10 to 100 meters per second. Unmyelinated axons are slower, transmitting at only about 1 meter per second. When the signal reaches the end of the line, it has to cross the synapse to influence the next cell; this process takes about 5 ms. The effect can last from a millisecond to many minutes, depending mostly on the type of the synapse.