How We Construct our Sense of Time from Memory and Cognition

THU 3, 10, 17 AND 24 NOV – 19:30 TO 21:30
Karl Dittrich Hall, Student Services Centre, Bonnefantenstraat 2

Vincent van de Ven, PhD
Associate Professor Perception and Cognitive Neuroscience, UM


Time fundamentally shapes and guides our actions and thoughts. Idioms such as ‘time flows (like a river)’, ‘time flies’ and ‘the arrow of time’ indicate that we view time as a continuous, objective ‘ruler’ to which we hold our experiences. However, humans are notoriously bad at judging durations. Further, how we perceive time differs between individuals and events. Time seems to speed up as we grow older, and slow down with boredom. Life-threatening experiences are remembered as having lasted longer than they actually did. Older generations now referring to ‘kids these days’ may forget that they were themselves the ‘kids those days’ in the eyes of even older generations. In this lecture series, I propose that time as we experience it is a mental construction from memory of past events and prediction of future outcomes. Time warps with the degree of surprise of an experience and perceived similarity between different current or past events. That is, time may be an illusion by which we interpret the association between events and how we wish to act in future events.


The individual lectures
1. Perspectives of Time (3 Nov)
2. Bodily and Mental Clocks (10 Nov)
3. Remenber the Time (17 Nov)
The Illusion of Time (24 Nov)


03 November 2022

19:30 - 21:30

10 November 2022

19:30 - 21:30

17 November 2022

19:30 - 21:30

24 November 2022

19:30 - 21:30