TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Time in the Mind

Our minds store the time instances our senses reported to the subconscious, and it is our conscious mind that process those instances into meaningful thoughts.

From my observation, the time instances the brain collects are used by the conscious mind; meaning the mind that interacts with its surroundings using inputs such as senses, or during activities within the conscious itself - for example calculating a problem. The subconscious is a repository for all time instances. The subconscious stores these time instances without associations to each other.

When the brain captures a memory it is done as a measurement - from the start of an observation from a sense up to the end of an observation from a sense. The subconscious stores this time instance and the conscious mind is responsible for making associations. Time instances are only captured by the subconscious with no associations, but the conscious mind can make sequential or past associations within the capturing time instance, similar to our calculation example. The subconscious constantly captures while the conscious mind guides what to capture; think of the subconscious as the engine and the conscious as the steering wheel.

Topics: brain mind time

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Sep 20 2012: I could not find any TIME conversation of yours, but next time dropping a link would be useful. Regarding your comment on the topic, your example of an athlete slowing down time is just a perception. Focus is a talent built through repetition.

    To put it in terms of the context I described: the athlete has captured this instance of a pitch many times and in many variations. From this repetition the athlete builds a memory of this occurrence; enough memories to process and create assumptions and predictions based on the athlete's experience. Those predictions and assumptions allows the hitter to swing at the ball with a high percentage of getting a hit.

    To the amateur player or spectator, the speed of the ball might have the perception that it is fast because their processing rate of the time instances that they are capturing is not as skilled or as repeated as the athlete.

    I believe your example points out how people can use memory to increase their ability to focus - possibly creating an advantageous perception of the current time; otherwise slowing down time is just a special effect in the movies.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.