Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics
Lecture by Virginie van Wassenhove:
Making sense of time in the human mind
While we are all experts in “experiencing time”, introspection provides us with very little intuition regarding the neural mechanisms supporting time perception and temporal cognition. In this talk, I will discuss the importance of clocking mechanisms for the biology of the mind, and how oscillations help reframing temporalities from the perspective of the brain itself (as generator-observer of events) in opposition to that of the external observer (as information reader). I will illustrate this point by focusing on the role of oscillatory activity in low-level temporal logistics of information processing, yielding temporal order and behavioral precision. Second, I will focus on the notion that conscious timing does not linearly map onto neural timing – i.e., that temporalities are represented abstractly and intelligibly- and exemplify this with recent work focused on the generative nature of the psychological time arrow (mental time travel), and the ability to introspect about one’s self-generated timing productions (temporal metacognition).