Neurological mechanism for perceiving time?


by strangerep
Tags: mechanism, neurological, perceiving, time
strangerep
strangerep is offline
#1
Mar14-12, 10:49 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 1,722
Hi all,

I'm a first time poster in Biology, and I'm not sure if this question belongs in Biology or Medicine. (I normally hang out over in quantum physics.)

What is currently known about the detailed neurological/biological mechanism by which humans perceive the passage of time? Simple watches are designed such that we perceive the spacing of ticks of each second to be approximately equal. Presumably this is related to some continuous dynamical process in the brain? If so, is this mechanism well understood at present?
Phys.Org News Partner Biology news on Phys.org
Chickens to chili peppers: Scientists search for the first genetic engineers
The malaria pathogen's cellular skeleton under a super-microscope
Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced
atyy
atyy is offline
#2
Mar14-12, 10:53 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 8,004
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17270738 (free!)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15217335 (not free:(
Andy Resnick
Andy Resnick is offline
#3
Mar15-12, 09:06 AM
Sci Advisor
P: 5,468
There's a lot of results regarding circadian rhythms, and several (seemingly) interesting books that are still on my 'wish list':

http://www.amazon.com/Geometry-Biolo...2&sr=1-2-spell

http://www.amazon.com/Biological-Rhy...d_rhf_se_p_t_4

Edgewood11
Edgewood11 is offline
#4
Mar15-12, 09:44 PM
P: 33

Neurological mechanism for perceiving time?


Circadian rhythms are found in many different organism such as plants. In fact, plants use light and photoperiods to tell time. When nights get longer/shorter they will flower accordingly. As for humans, melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland at night and is used to tell time essential to many biological functions.
strangerep
strangerep is offline
#5
Mar16-12, 07:00 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 1,722
Thanks everyone for the various references. I see that this is a very complex subject, with distinctly different mechanisms for short and long time interval perception.

So much to learn, and only one lifetime... :-(
Pythagorean
Pythagorean is offline
#6
Mar16-12, 10:47 PM
PF Gold
Pythagorean's Avatar
P: 4,182
ultradian rhythms - less than a day
circadian rhythms - daily
infradian rhythms - more than a day
Andy Resnick
Andy Resnick is offline
#7
Mar18-12, 04:40 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 5,468
This time of year, various bugs are out and about. One of them, Armadillidiidae (pill bug/roly-poly/potato bug/..) curls up into a ball if you touch it, then after some amount of time, unrolls and continues on it's way. Does anyone know if someone has done any work to understand how that time interval is set? I can't imagine it's learned behavior, and I have a hard time thinking of a genetic basis.
SecularSanity
SecularSanity is offline
#8
Mar19-12, 01:23 AM
P: 27
I enjoyed David Eagleman's work.

http://www.eaglemanlab.net/time/essay-brain-time
strangerep
strangerep is offline
#9
Mar20-12, 10:21 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 1,722
Quote Quote by SecularSanity View Post
I enjoyed David Eagleman's work.
http://www.eaglemanlab.net/time/essay-brain-time
Interesting essay. Thanks for mentioning it.
Fermenter
Fermenter is offline
#10
Apr5-12, 01:10 AM
P: 2
Quote Quote by SecularSanity View Post
I enjoyed David Eagleman's work.

http://www.eaglemanlab.net/time/essay-brain-time
I enjoyed reading this. I think I saw this guy on Colbert, probably pushing a book, but I also remember seeing video of the people being dropped while watching for the numbers. Or perhaps that's just a perception I have formed based upon sensory data arriving too fast that it got smeared into a memory.

Nope, it happened:
http://www.colbertnation.com/the-col...david-eagleman
nitsuj
nitsuj is offline
#11
Apr5-12, 09:27 AM
P: 1,098
A fantastic source , in an episoide of House MD, there was a case of a patient that had "gaps" in their "experience".

As in, the patient sings a song with rythem, and at times the patient pauses and is unnoticed by the patient.

I would guess it's loosely based off something plausable.

Mini "black outs" or something.
zoobyshoe
zoobyshoe is offline
#12
Apr6-12, 07:24 PM
zoobyshoe's Avatar
P: 5,616
Quote Quote by nitsuj View Post
A fantastic source , in an episoide of House MD, there was a case of a patient that had "gaps" in their "experience".

As in, the patient sings a song with rythem, and at times the patient pauses and is unnoticed by the patient.

I would guess it's loosely based off something plausable.

Mini "black outs" or something.
I didn't happen to catch this episode but what you're describing is Absence Seizures:

http://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/unders...seizure-basics

From the perspective of the person having the seizure time seems to have inexplicably jumped forward a few seconds: suddenly people are in different positions saying different things, etc, as if some frames had been cut out of a film.
nitsuj
nitsuj is offline
#13
Apr7-12, 06:56 AM
P: 1,098
Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
I didn't happen to catch this episode but what you're describing is Absence Seizures:

http://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/unders...seizure-basics

From the perspective of the person having the seizure time seems to have inexplicably jumped forward a few seconds: suddenly people are in different positions saying different things, etc, as if some frames had been cut out of a film.
Chase - "His EEG didn't show any sign of seizure activity."
House - "I didn't say it was a seizure, I said it was like a seizure!"
Oh that House, always so clever

It was S07E16, the diagnosis is at 28:00 minutes into the episode. One of the better episodes too, check it out.
zoobyshoe
zoobyshoe is offline
#14
Apr7-12, 02:43 PM
zoobyshoe's Avatar
P: 5,616
Quote Quote by nitsuj View Post
Chase - "His EEG didn't show any sign of seizure activity."
House - "I didn't say it was a seizure, I said it was like a seizure!"
Oh that House, always so clever

It was S07E16, the diagnosis is at 28:00 minutes into the episode. One of the better episodes too, check it out.
It looks like I'd have to download it to watch it. I'll eventually catch it on TV. I watch the old episodes when they air.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Why does porphyria give neurological symptoms? Medical Sciences 1
Quantum effects at the neurological level Quantum Physics 62
Perceiving the expansion of the universe in daily life Astrophysics 7
neurological phenomenon? Biology 2