In Search of Time
Ever since Einstein, physicists have been telling us that time – this steady tick-tock of the universe – is much weirder than we think. It doesn’t flow in a single, linear direction, or beat like a steady metronome. Instead, it depends on all sorts of peculiar cosmi variables. We speed up, time slows down. (Fall into a black hole and time turns into a viscous sludge.) And there’s nothing in the mathematical laws of physics that says time can only go forward. In theory, at least, the hands of your clock can tick in both directions.
But if time is so strange, then why does it seem so normal? Why don’t we feel all the quantum weirdness? Psychologists and neuroscientists are now beginning to explore the phenomenology of time, beginning not with spacetime but with the fleshy brain. If our’ sense of time is largely a cognitive illusion, then where does the illusion come from?
Read the rest on The Frontal Cortex.