January 10, 2014

Thought (Memetic) Soup, it's All in the Timing Edition

This content has been cross-posted to Tumbld Thoughts.

It may be question of time, but at what scale?

Here are a few readings on the passage of time in perspective and future prediction. The first is an infographic from Visual.ly [1], which plots out the passage of time on scales from a single day to the lifetime of the universe. This is similar to the classic "Powers of 10" demonstration that shows how different spatial scales relate to one another. Only in this case, we are dealing with time.

The second reading is on Isaac Asimov's predictions (made in 1964) on life in 2014 [2]. While some of them were fairly accurate, others fell short (as we might expect). Asimov uses both an "averaging" strategy (e.g. robots prediction) coupled with an informed consensus (e.g. population numbers prediction).

Time percpetion + funhouse mirror = ???

Here are a few new readings on the manipulability of time perception. You know, as advertised in "Inception" [3]. The first paper [4] studies the relationship between continuous time and discrete events. A combinatorial experimental design is used to examine which types of manipulations result in intervals that influence judgement in a way that is independent of psychophysics. These findings provide a basis for understanding the underlying "current" of time in our daily mental lives.

COURTESY: Figure 1 in [5].

The second paper (a review) [5] examines the vulnerability of time perception to measurable distortions and illusions. In this study, perceived durations of time are distorted by saccades, oddball stimuli, and stimulus complexity/magnitude. Time perception is found to be particularly susceptible to such interference. 

Perhaps we have a partial answer....

Here is the latest preprint from Orthogonal Research, called "Animal-oriented Virtual Environments: illusion, dilation, and discovery". Now available on PeerJ Preprints

This paper is a semi-review/theoretical paper on the utilization and promise of virtual environments for animal behavioral and neurobiological research. Also demonstrates how the temporal dilation of perception can be achieved in animals for experimental investigations of genomic diversity and brain function.

COURTESY: Figure 3 in [6].

[1] A perspective on time. Visual.ly, October 17 (2013).

[3] Spiers, H. and Bendor, D.   Enhance, Delete, Incept: manipulating hippocampus-dependent memories. Brain Research Bulletin, doi: 10. 1016/j.brainresbull.2013.12.011 (2014).

[4] Liverence, B.M.   Discrete events as units of perceived time. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 38(3), 549-554 (2012).

[5] Eagleman, D.M.   Human time perception and its illusions. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 18, 131-136 (2008).

[6] Alicea,  B.   Animal-oriented  Virtual  Environments: illusion, dilation, and discovery. PeerJ Preprints, doi:10.7287/peerj.preprints.193v1 (2014).

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