I’ve spent a few years studying the cognitive science of the timing in that under 400ms range.
May 6, 2015; absolutely amazing day. Studying erratically, haphazardly as I do, following inspiration to inspiration to inspiration, it finally ‘clicked’ the significance of the n400. 400 milliseconds. Such a long long time.
On and off since. Six years. I’d since discovered the smallest GRANULARITY our acuity can get to.
1ms. It’s 5ms for “brand new auditory change” (there’s a ‘smear’ of uncertainty around 4ms while an initial mismatch spike settles down) but once you’re over that hump, our auditory acuity for further oscillations is 1 millisecond.
Somewhere I have the timings for the different types of sensations: all of the different types of touch. Vision of course (the most studied and overused whenever someone is telling us things about the brain (forgetting about the other senses), etc.
I don’t know if I have chemical smell timing anywhere. Olfactory system is distinct from the other senses and uses its own summation process that doesn’t go through the… oh whatever that inner trainyard is that the other senses go through. Olfactory goes straight from the top of your nose, through some fascinating bioelectric filtering (I love how it categories and amplifies and attenuates) and you’re aware of it.
You see, from my point of view: we are CONSTRUCTED of these very timings and such. To say “it’s an illusion” doesn’t say much to me. We’re we. You’re you. You make choices and I make choices.
When you say “I want”, what’s doing the wanting? We _make use of_ the body’s systems because we _are_ the body’s systems. But we are more than the individual processes.
All these pathways that come together – that take time to come together – 400 ms is a long time – almost 1/2 a second – gamers notice a lag difference of 50 ms, 20 ms – even shorter. 60 fps or 120 fps – there’s a difference even if it’s hard to put into words well – that we can notice the cumulative effects of.
And – free will is a cumulative effect that feeds back into cause.
When you will sometime, you marshall all those same forces into some OTHER direction. “I choose” – the process is both bottom up _and_ top down. It is a symbiotic relationship between lower and higher processes dancing in an ongoing relationship with the body and environment.
Maybe embodiment is lack of freedom? But i see it like swimming. Am I trapped by the water or does the water give me substance to work with to move?
Really was a satisfying breakthrough. From this point, I’d also since learned that in ADHD, the “duration” sense is _just a little faster_ – I don’t have it handy but it’s something along the lines of 25-35 ms faster than neurotypical people…
..and this slightly faster experience of timing leads to mismatching of the whole system with society, even our own bodies, an annoying “extra awareness” of things-not-quite-finished yet.
All through the waking hours. Every single day.
All of this MEASURING isn’t NEGATING. You can trace a little brain blip that ends up being used as part of an outburst? Great. Machine takes a little time. But that blip is a consequence of “being this system”. The blip isn’t the cause of the outburst.
Ah there. 35ms. My notes are my extended brain.
“better time discrimination by 35ms… oh that’s the first time i’ve seen a hard number on this…
Children with ADHD had significantly better performance in the emotional time discrimination task across all conditions when compared with controls: On average, discrimination thresholds were approximately 35 ms shorter for the children with ADHD. Our results indicate that children with ADHD have higher sensitivity to time relative to controls in a situation in which they must distribute resources between temporal and emotional processing.”
I mean, I have no problem viewing the same system as filters.
But what I’m celebrating is the phenomenological aspect of being; this sense of ongoing novelty. A Timelord may say “all is already done” but I’m here on this mundane plane participating in the doings that are done.