Why do they use a gun at the Olympics? And why can you get off the blocks after the bang but still be disqualified for jumping the gun? Few things are as bizarre as our time perception. From sprinters to basketball players, from Kubla Khan to Oppenheimer, from television broadcasting to hallucinations, Eagleman unmasks illusions of time that surround us. Why does the brain work so hard to pull off editing tricks? And what does this tell us about our perception of reality?

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More Information:

Cai M, Stetson C, Eagleman DM (2012). A neural model for temporal order judgments and their active recalibration: a common mechanism for space and time? Frontiers in Psychology. 3:470.

Eagleman DM (2016). Incognito. Canongate.

Eagleman DM. (2009). Brain Time, in What’s Next? Dispatches on the Future of Science. Ed. M. Brockman. New York: Vintage.

Pariyadath V, Eagleman DM. (2007). The effect of predictability on subjective duration. PloS One2(11), e1264.

I introduced the term postdiction two decades ago to describe the brain’s act of collecting information well after an event and then settling on a perception: Eagleman DM, Sejnowski TJ. (2000). Motion Integration and Postdiction in Visual Awareness. Science 287:2036–8.

Efron R. (1963). Temporal perception, aphasia and deja vu. Brain86(3), 403-424.

Ng A, Lepinski J, Wigdor D, Sanders S, Dietz P. (2012). Designing for low-latency direct-touch input. In Proceedings of the 25th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (pp. 453-464).

Parsons B, Gandhi S, Aurbach EA, Williams N, Williams M, Wassef A, Eagleman DM (2013). Lengthened temporal integration in schizophrenia. Neuropsychologia. 51(2): 372-376.


"David Eagleman is the kind of guy who really does make being a neuroscientist look like fun."
- New York Times
"Eagleman has a talent for testing the untestable, for taking seemingly sophomoric notions and using them to nail down the slippery stuff of consciousness."
- The New Yorker
"What Eagleman seems to be calling for is a new Enlightenment."
- Sunday Herald
"David Eagleman may be the best combination of scientist and fiction-writer alive."
- Stewart Brand
"David Eagleman offers startling lessons.... His method is to ask us to cast off our lazy commonplace assumptions.
- The Guardian
"[A] neuroscientist and polymath."
- Wall Street Journal
"A popularizer of impressive gusto...[Eagleman] aims, grandly, to do for the study of the mind what Copernicus did for the study of the stars."
- New York Observer