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    How the Brain Tracks Time

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Recently, a team from the University of California, Irvine began to explore the possibility that the brain houses an additional time-tracking mechanism.

    Scientists have long been in agreement that humans have a master internal clock that keeps track of time.

    Recently, a team from the University of California, Irvine began to explore the possibility that the brain houses an additional time-tracking mechanism.

    They posit that the measuring of some kinds of elapsed time is controlled by a separate neural system that works both in conjunction and competition with a primary one.

    Prevailing single-system theories are based on how brain’s striatum interacts with the nearby cortex to process temporal information.

    When individuals take note that time is in the process of passing the striatum is activated.

    Inspiration for the study came by observing that the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with experiential memory, also shows signs of activity when particular types of time assessment take place.

    The scientists believe that signals detected there are indicators of the hippocampus’ participation in accessing memories of passing time.

    When their theory was put to the test on rats, some of which had had their hippocampi activity suppressed, they found that all were equal in their abilities to make sense of widely varying temporal durations.

    Only those with active hippocampi, however, could differentiate between similar ones.