Neurophysics of the Flow of Time

Journal of Mind and Behavior 29 (3):241-255 (2008)
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Abstract

Three physical theories explaining the flow of time are examined. One theory suggests that “flow” is associated with the manner of information transfer between registers within the brain. Different robotic systems are predicted to experience different types of flow. Here, human examples are found to support the theory and the model is modified suggesting that flow is a cognitive illusion. A second theory suggests that time is non-existent, that the universe is a complex quantum state which, upon observation, the brain acquires “stills” and converts them to an illusion of motion and flow. Accordingly the brain should be able to generate a physiological illusion of temporality from stills. Experimental evidence is given that the temporality illusion so generated is not physiological; it is cognitive, lending no support to that theory. A third theory suggesting that the flow of time is really a myth is briefly reviewed

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