Close to real time. There’s a lag that’s socially acceptable but it’s really short. I had a bad stutter as a kid. Too many words wanted to pour our at once. Had to slow down vocal muscles and brain. Speech therapist put strawberry paste on the back of my throat for some reason and showed me how to create a little ‘void’ in my head to sort words out quickly before speaking them. The shortest speed of the world is 13ms. Anything shorter than that is instant. Mutliplayer gaming programmers and network engineers try to work with that 13ms as a golden goal to reach when they can.

Close to real time. [read full article]


The fastest sense to reach our attention facilities is sound. We react too slowly to light. Sound is physical-electrical. Waves hit eardrum, moving hammers, down cochlea from high to low frequency, physically buzzing sympathetic hairs, instantly converting to electrical signals. 50ms later (20 hertz – familiar? It should be), the ALR (auditory late response), then between 135-175 ms (a length of 40ms), the MMN (Mismatch Negativity) which gauges whether you’re hearing the same sound or something novel. All technically pre-attentive. But it’s a funny thing: Musicians can have attentive access even at the MMN stage of awareness, long before the P400 (400ms which is where the fully formed grammatical system is ready, where you can think, “Ew, I don’t like that”), and certainly by the P300 (300ms), which is either considered pre-attentive or attentive depending on how you look at it.

The fastest sense to [read full article]