The Brain is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience of Time Dean V Buonoamo (Brain Research Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA ) PL1
Time lies at the center of a perfect storm of unsolved scientific mysteries: consciousness, free will, relativity, and quantum gravity. While these questions span distinct fields, they are interconnected through neuroscience because all scientific theories are interpreted through the structure of the human brain - and its inherent biases and limitations. Furthermore, neuroscience and time are intertwined because the brain is in a sense a time machine, it is a computational device that tells time, attempts to predict the future, and allows us to engage in mental time travel. I will discuss the importance of time to brain function, and examine the mechanisms the brain uses to tell time. I will also explore how the brain conceptualizes time, and the theory that a driving force for the evolution of consciousness was the need to predict the future and engage in mental time travel.