A map of your brain’s internal clocks
YOUR MIND IS CONSTANTLY counting: the rhythm of your speech, the minutes until your next snack, the awful pause between text messages. Without all that tallying, you’d misinterpret a friend’s motives, or (horrors!) miss doughnut time. So how does your clever noggin seamlessly compute your life?
Neuroscientists do not fully understand the precise neural dance—yet. But researchers do know that you can’t point to just one region in your skull. Different parts of our gray matter respond to different timing tasks, and brain imaging has helped us parse which areas do what. From drumming along with a musical phrase to figuring out how long a lecture has lasted, these specialized areas work together to shape our temporal perception.