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Posts tagged “science”, page 2

  1. Scientists found brain’s internal clock that influences how we perceive time

    Jennifer Ouellette, for Ars Technica:

    Manmade clocks may precisely measure time, but, from a human perspective, the passage of time is remarkably fluid. It drags when you’re doing your taxes but really does fly when you’re having fun. Isolate yourself from any markers of time (night and day, watches or clocks) and you will feel less time has passed than actually has, because under those circumstances, the brain condenses time.

  2. The Tricky Business of Measuring Consciousness

    Jason Pontin for Wired:

    In a groundbreaking study, 102 healthy subjects and 48 responsive but brain-injured patients were “zapped and zipped” when conscious and unconscious, creating a value called a “perturbational complexity index” (PCI). Remarkably, across all 150 subjects, when the PCI value was above a certain value (0.31, is it happens) the person was conscious; if below, she or he was always unconscious.

    Massimini’s test is important because it is the first real proof of integrated information theory (IIT), a theory of consciousness invented by neuroscientist and psychiatrist Giulio Tononi at the University of Wisconsin.

    IIT doesn’t try to answer the hard problem. Instead, it does something more subtle: It posits that consciousness is a feature of the universe, like gravity, and then tries to solve the pretty hard problem of determining which systems are conscious with a mathematical measurement of consciousness represented by the Greek letter phi (Φ).