Heat transfer, entropy and time perception: Toward finding a possible relation between subjective and objective time

Med Hypotheses. 2019 Jan;122:172-175. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2018.11.018. Epub 2018 Nov 27.


The interaction between subjective and objective time is an ambiguous issue in physics and psychology. Here, I try to describe these two timing systems within a common framework. To this aim, I will use thermodynamic entropy, which is a parameter that can create the arrow of time in physical systems (i.e. universe and brain). In the universe, which can be thought of as a closed system, heat transfer (dQ) is always positive and it leads to an increase in entropy (dS > 0). The positive dS leads to the generation of the irreversible arrow of time. Given that dS is constant, the time units have a similar direction and magnitude. In contrast to the universe, the brain is an open thermodynamic system which transfers heat to its surroundings. In this system, dQ and dS can become negative. This causes a reversible timing system and time units can be laid along different arrows and have different magnitudes. Theoretically, this mismatch can cause different timing in the brain and universe.

Keywords: Entropy; Heat transfer; Time perception; Vector timing.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Energy Transfer
  • Entropy*
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Thermodynamics
  • Time Factors
  • Time Perception*