August 9 2015     

A strange little thing about the human conscious awareness about the flow of time

by archywillhe

Ex Machina, the greatest motion picture ever produced revolving around the themes of artificial intelligence and human psychology, and one of the very few movies that I actually enjoyed, was just a few buttons away, in the Plex collection of a friend whom I currently stay with.

This afternoon while I was eating my cereal I turned on the LCD and let the movie played in the background as I sat lazily on the canapé, enjoying my breakfast in the most leisurely manner possible. It then suddenly hit me that the plot certainly felt as if it was progressing faster than it felt the first time I watched the movie.

In the blink of an eye the story was already in stage X, that was how it felt like.

Further introspection suggested that this phenomenon is not limited to just movies, but that there is clearly a discrepancy between our awareness about the flow of time when we re-watched a video for the second time, and that of when we watched it for the first time.

Is it a consequence of how consistent the neural networks are responding to the ever-changing visual stimuli in according to our intuitive expectation of how they would respond since we have already experienced beforehand what we are experiencing?

Or perhaps is it because we are prompted to compute what visual stimuli we should expect to receive next, as a response to the ever-changing visual stimuli, and the efficiency of the computation, together with the accuracy of the result, give us a feeling, which, compared to what we previously felt the first time when we watched the video, made us feel like things are going so much smoother and quicker this time?

It is undeniable that memories affect the way one experiences time. But in the 21st century it remains an open question at to how the brain perceives time.

Related: chronostasis is handcrafted by Archy archywilhes Will He
vi3w_s0urce (Haskell on Hakyll)