The experience of time: neural mechanisms and the interplay of emotion, cognition and embodiment

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2009 Jul 12;364(1525):1809-13. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2009.0025.


Time research has been a neglected topic in the cognitive neurosciences of the last decades: how do humans perceive time? How and where in the brain is time processed? This introductory paper provides an overview of the empirical and theoretical papers on the psychological and neural basis of time perception collected in this theme issue. Contributors from the fields of cognitive psychology, psychiatry, neurology and neuroanatomy tackle this complex question with a variety of techniques ranging from psychophysical and behavioural experiments to pharmacological interventions and functional neuroimaging. Several (and some new) models of how and where in the brain time is processed are presented in this unique collection of recent research that covers experienced time intervals from milliseconds to minutes. We hope this volume to be conducive in developing a better understanding of the sense of time as part of complex set of brain-body factors that include cognitive, emotional and body states.

Publication types

  • Introductory Journal Article

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Clocks / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Time Perception / physiology*