Space, time and memory: tales from a long road

Cogn Process. 2018 Sep;19(Suppl 1):101-108. doi: 10.1007/s10339-018-0879-0.


Points, lines and surfaces are the basic elements of Euclidean geometry. In this paper, accompanying a keynote at ICSC 2018, we will explore how, in physics, cognition and our lived experience, it is often better to think in terms of interconnected threads than an evolving state of the world now. In physics 'now' is an illusion, merely a convenient construction, each particle and person is more like an independent strand in space-time, and similarly, in our minds, strands of memories from different roles and contexts flow almost independently. Paths create lines on the map and may be inscribed as signs in the landscape, but our journeys along paths create temporal threads that interweave as we meet along the way. This paper draws on my research over many years on time and user interaction and also my personal experiences during a thousand-mile walk around the periphery of Wales in 2013.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Research
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Time Perception / physiology*