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Perception of time and causation through the kinesthesia of intentional action

  • Author(s): Freeman, Walter J, III;
  • et al.

Perception is an intentional action through space in time by which the finite brain explores the infinite world. By acting, the brain thrusts its body into the future spacetime of the world while predicting the sensory consequences. Through perceiving its actions and their results, it remembers its predictions, its actions, and their consequences. To perform these operations the brain, through chaotic dynamics, constructs and uses finite perceptual matrices of spacetime and infers causation. Perceived time differs from world time in ways that are determined by the neural mechanisms of intentionality. In particular, perception of the self in action, through the mechanism of preafference, gives structure and content to the concepts of continuity, contiguity, duration, temporal order, cause, and effect. Perceptual scales are expanded beyond kinesthesia by conversion of time into space, such as by clocks and calendars. Remembered time differs from perceived time in being dependent on awareness, which makes it episodic, fragmentary, and subject to large variations in rates of time lapse in the flow of meanings. The attribution of causal agency to objects and events in the world results from anthropomorphization in accordance with the neural mechanisms of the internal perception of intentional action.

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