Virginie van Wassenhove


Making sense of time in the human mind

The neural mechanisms supporting temporal cognition remain debated.  In this talk, I will reframe temporalities from the perspective of the brain itself (as generator-observer of events) as opposed to that of the external observer. I will illustrate the importance of oscillatory activity in low-level temporal logistics of information processing for instance yielding temporal order and behavioral precision. I will also discuss recent findings showing that conscious timing may not linearly map onto neural timing – i.e., that temporalities are represented abstractly and intelligibly – and exemplify this with recent work focused on the generative nature of the psychological time arrow (mental time travel), and the ability to introspect about one’s self-generated timing productions (temporal metacognition).