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Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Time Awareness

Anticipating events that will happen in the future is among the most important functions the brain performs. Indeed, it has been increasingly stressed that learning and memory are prospective brain functions; that is, they are only adaptive to the extent that they help animals anticipate and prepare for the future (Dudai and Carruthers, 2005; Schacter and Addis, 2007). To anticipate when events will happen, the brain has evolved mechanisms to tell time across a wide range of temporal scales."

Source : Differential Encoding of Time by Prefrontal and Striatal Network Dynamics Journal of Neuroscience 25 January 2017, 37 (4) 854-870

However, the neural mechanisms underlying the perception of time, either on short scales (seconds) or long scales (days / weeks), remain almost entirely unknown.

Further reading : The neural basis of temporal processing Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 2004. 27:307โ€“40

Also see: Core Clockplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigCore Clock

In humans, mammals, fish, insects, and very many other organisms, the 'Core Clock' which regulates variations in body functions is set to (approximately) 24 hours. This is the so-called Circadian Rhythm. - which in many organisms, is synchronised via daylight.
,Rhythm perceptionplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigRhythm perception

Humans (and some other animals*) have an innate sense of 'rhythm', i.e. the ability to detect and react with 'beats' in musical compositions. Professional drummers and percussionists can 'beat time' with accuracies of just a few milliseconds per beat (ref.
(and for plant based time 'awareness', seeBamboo floweringplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigBamboo flowering

Bamboo plants typically spread by sprouting from the base of the clump - in effect 'cloning'. But, similarly to any other grass-like plant, they also flower and produce seeds. In many bamboo species this takes place at around 20 - 50 years, after which the entire 'grove' dies.

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