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News

22.01.2021

CNS Newsletter Volume 13, Issue 03 "Perception of Time" released

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We recently published a new issue of the Charité NeuroScience (CNS) Newsletter, bringing you the latest on Perception of Time.

Time can be a wibbly wobbly thing. For me, at least, it has become. Since March, when corona first thumped over Berlin, I’ve found myself immersed in one amorphous and strange chunk of time, that does not pass. Shortage in demarcation, as in small daily plans I used to have, made the time gradually collapse among my routine. More than I’d like to admit I find myself losing track of when am I in space.

But this is only my experience. People experience different things in the realm of time. It can be perceived as distorted, stretched, or shrink. Why? Maybe it is age, cognitive integrity, attention allocation, or only individual characteristics (p. 11). But time can be assessed via personal reports, as mine, or by phenotypical features. Like those that make you tick in the morning. Are you an early bird or a late owl? Chronobiology may explain it. Read our interview with Prof. Kramer to get a grasp of what makes you tick (p. 4), or when.

The objective nature of time is a hot topic in physics. Some say it does not exist. It is more like a coordinate in the unfolding of events - going beyond the spacetime forged by Einstein’s relativity theory. On the other hand, research on hypobaric hypoxia shows that time-dilation is an observable phenomenon. Who bett er than a climber familiar with the Himalayas may talk about it (p. 8)? Go figure. And because time also translates into a handful of behaviors, I can ask you how mindful are you of your time (p. 24)? - and you understand it.

Th e objectivity of time may be under construction, yet, as a concept, it may be at a hand. We can track, for example, how people change across their lifespan. Can you remember when you started minding (p. 13)? Have you ever wondered what’s your age in dog years? Well, science has. And then att empted to make translational age in animal research more accurate. For the benefit of many, physicists included. Some may say it is just a number, but when it comes to serious research, age does matt er (p. 14).

And what if not only brain networks matt er but also their timestamps? Chronnectome researchers are now tracking connectome timescales (p. 10). Is it the future of brain research? Well, Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) may be (p. 17). And, so much for the future, CRISPR has finally made it in the present. Th e long-overdue female-only Nobel Prize has been granted to two Chemists. Meet Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, director of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin. So let me not waste more of your time, as we hope you enjoy this issue as much as we did.

Volume 13, Issue 03

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