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Although the study of time has been central to physics and philosophy for millennia, questions of how time is represented in the brain and how this representation is related to time perception have only recently started to be addressed. Emerging evidence subtly yet profoundly challenges our intuitive notions of time over short scales, offering insight into the nature of the brain's representation of time. Numerous different models, specified at the neural level, of how the brain may keep track of time have been proposed. These models differ in various ways, such as whether time is represented by a centralized or distributed neural system, or whether there are neural systems dedicated to the problem of timing. This paper reviews the insight offered by behavioral experiments and how these experiments refute and guide some of the various models of the brain's representation of time.

Original publication




Journal article


Ann N Y Acad Sci

Publication Date





60 - 71


brain, causality, temporal illusion, time, Brain, Humans, Models, Neurological, Neural Pathways, Time Perception