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你的大脑是个无声的钟:大脑是如何分辨时间的 – 译学馆
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你的大脑是个无声的钟:大脑是如何分辨时间的

How Your Amazing Brain Tells Time: Circadian Watch, Pattern Pendulum, & Tempo Timer | Dean Buonomano

大想法
Big think
人类制钟的历史
So human beings have been
已逾千年
building clocks for millennium
从日晷到漏斗
and it’s been a long endeavor of our species
从摆钟到石英表 再到原子钟
from sundials to hour glasses to pendulum clocks
人类付出了不懈的努力
to quartz watches to car and atomic clocks.
大脑对时间的感知
Yet the brain has been telling time
自物种起源时便开始了 对吧?
since the dawn of animal species, right?
甚至植物也能依靠生物钟来感知时间
So even plants have the ability to tell time in terms of circadian clock.
很多人所研究的 神经科学的秘密之一
So one of the mysteries in neuroscience
就是 大脑如何感知时间
that many people are studying is how the brain tells time.
快速记住人造钟的工作原理 有利于研究
So in order to understand how the brain tells time it’s useful to quickly remember
人脑对时间的感知
how manmade clocks work.
从摆钟到石英钟再到原子钟
And there’s a vast diversity of manmade clocks
人造时钟种类繁多
from pendulums to quartz watches to atomic clocks.
形形色色的时钟具有相同的原理
And as diverse as these things are they share a common principle,
一个简单到似乎尴尬的原理
an almost embarrassingly simple principle,
即 计算振荡器的滴答次数而已
which is just counting the ticks of an oscillator.
对于摆钟 你只需要计算来回摇摆次数就可以
So with the pendulum you just count the ticks of the pendulum going back and forth.
对于石英钟 只需计算石英晶体的震荡次数就可以
In the quartz watch you’re just counting the mechanical vibrations of a quartz crystal.
对于原子钟 就有些复杂了
And in the case of an atomic clock it’s a bit more complicated,
但也只是跟原子衰变放出电磁波的波动周期有关
but they’re related to vacillatory cycle of an electromagnetic waves.
于是这样问就合理了:“是不是大脑也一样呢
So it’s reasonable to ask, “Well is that how the brain tells time?
大脑是否也存在
Does the brain have some oscillator
滴答震荡的器械和计算滴滴和答答
that’s ticking away and some circuit that’s counting those
的某些回路呢?”
ticks and tocks?”
答案是否定的
The answer is no.
大脑似乎以某种根本不同
The brain seems to have
的方式来计时
fundamentally different ways of telling time.
因此 首先应该注意到的是
So the first thing to notice is that
在我们制作机械钟的过程中
while the mechanical clocks that we make,
甚至你的石英钟都可以显示 时间跨度
even your quartz watch can tell time across a vast range of scales
从几十毫秒
from tens of milliseconds to
到几分 几小时 几天 几月 几年这么大的范围
hours minutes and days and months and years.
大脑中存在很多不同的
So the brain has many different clocks
为了感知毫秒 秒以及告知每天时刻的钟
in order to tell the milliseconds and seconds and to tell the time of days.
我们能想到的其中一种就是生物钟
So one way to think about it is the circadian clock,
它会告诉我们每天的时间
the clock that tells you what time of day it is
告诉我们什么时候该起床 什么时候该睡觉
and when to arise and when to go to sleep.
它没有分针 更没有秒针
That doesn’t have a minute hand, much less a second hand.
与其他钟相比 它会以这种方式提醒你:
In contrast the clock that tells you—the timing device in your brain that tells you,
“呃…… 红灯时间有点长啊”
“Hmm, this red light is taking a bit too long to turn.”
“红绿灯隔好久才变啊”
“This traffic light is taking a bit long to turn”
或者“我觉得服务员忘记我的咖啡了”
or “I think the waiter forgot my coffee.”
生物钟没有时针 更没有(记下)流逝的天数
That clock doesn’t have an hour hand much less number of days that have gone by.
为感知时间 大脑存在不同的区域 不同的运作原理
So the brain has different areas, different mechanisms in order to tell time.
我们不明白 不完全明白 大脑是如何感知
We don’t understand, fully understand, how the brain tells you
一首歌的节拍是什么或红灯什么时候变的
what the tempo of a song is or when the red light is going to change.
但看起来 似乎并不存在任何振动计数器的工作原理
But it doesn’t seem to have to do with any oscillator-counter mechanisms.
那似乎与神经力学相关
It seems to do with neural dynamics
事实上那是神经元的模式
which is the fact that patterns of neurons
神经元两两相伴
neurons are coupled to each other,
并和紧挨着的一个相连
neurons are connected next to each other
当你激活某些神经元时
And when you activate some neurons
这些神经元会激活另一组神经元
that group of neurons can activate another group of neurons
另一组又会激活下一组神经元
which can active another group of neurons.
你具备这些神经活动的进化模式
So you can have these evolving patterns of neural activity.
同样地 如果你向池塘中扔块卵石
And in the same way that if you throw a pebble into a pond
也会形成这种动力模式
it can create this dynamical pattern.
某种程度上 那种模式告诉你 有多少时间流逝了 对吧
And in a way that pattern tells you how much time has elapsed, right.
你知道的 望着池塘 如果那些涟漪的直径更大
You know that looking at the pond if the diameter of those ripples is large,
(就说明)有更多的时间流逝了
more time has elapsed than if it’s a little ripple.
因此 作为计时器 无论是什么动力系统
So any dynamical system in principle has the ability to convey information
都有传达已消逝时间的功能
about elapsed time. It can be a timer.
就我们所知 看上去
So as far as we know it seems that
大脑感知 从毫秒到秒这种时间规模
one of the mechanisms that the brain uses to tell time
的机制之一
on the scale of hundreds of milliseconds to seconds
是通过神经动力以及
is through neural dynamics and
改变神经活动的模式来实现的
changing patterns of neural activity,
神经元A激活神经元B B再激活C
neuron A activates neuron B which activates neuron C
你拥有这种复杂的神经进化模式
and you have these complex evolving patterns.
这就是我们所说的多时钟原理
So this is consistent with what we call the multiple clock principle
即大脑内并没有任何主控时钟
which is the brain doesn’t have any master clock.
它存在着很多不同的回路 每一个专门负责
It has many different circuits, each specialized
或专注于处理某一规模的时间
or that focuses on processing time
或另一规模的时间
on one scale or another.

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视频概述

人脑从未像摆钟一样摇摆过,亦未曾像原子钟一样如此精确,但却足以感知昼夜、告知你繁华落尽、时间流逝~

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmvE8proPb4

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