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你的大脑是幻觉工厂:时间,颜色,因果关系| Dean Buonomano – 译学馆
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你的大脑是幻觉工厂:时间,颜色,因果关系| Dean Buonomano

Your Brain Is an Illusion Factory: Time, Color, Causality | Dean Buonomano

我认为时间是非常复杂的 且比空间要复杂的多
Time is complicated, I think more so than space.
If you think about our mammalian ancestors, our mammalian cousins, all animals have a
它们都有很好的空间感 比如他们知道树后面藏有天敌
fairly good understanding of space in the sense that they know where a predator is located
或者如果我的狗弄丢了零食 它知道去到沙发后面 旁边
behind a tree; or if my dog loses its treat it knows to go behind the couch or beside
the couch or over the couch.
但是时间不同——我们能控制空间 对吧
But time—we navigate space, right.
我们会左转 在我们的脑中有份空间图
We take left turns, we have a map of space within our heads and we know that if somebody
所以如果有人在街角转弯 我们知道往哪追他们
goes around the corner where we can go after them.
但我们并不能掌控时间 不是吗?
But time we don’t navigate time, right.
Time is this one way street.
而且我认为多少因为这一点 使得我们从来都不能操控时间
And I think in part because of that time is something that we never involved to manipulate
或者标出时间点 这是由于我们没有什么选择
to map out because we have very little options.
时间并没有分支 右转的方向 出口或者是180度转弯
Time doesn’t have any branches or right turns or exits or 180 degree wraparounds.
所以大部分哺乳动物的大脑并没有进化到 能够以相同的方式参与控制或者思考时间
So I think the brain of most mammals didn’t evolve to manipulate, to think about time
as much as in space.
尽管我知道人类是独一无二的 可能这是因为
Although I think humans are unique in the sense that we and perhaps we alone have this
只有我们有对过去 现在和未来完全不同的感觉
notion of past, present and future being fundamentally different from each other an ability to map
out time.
And the same is true by the way in science.
If you think about what’s probably the first field of modern science.
可能就是几何学 对吧
Let’s say that’s geometry, right.
早在2000年前 几何学就由阿基里德正式确定为一门学科
Geometry, as formalized by Euclid over 2000 years ago is probably the first field of modern
And why?
我认为原因可能是 如果我们能忽略时间的话 整个宇宙会变得简单的多
I think the reason is is because the universe is a simpler place if we can ignore time.
这么来看 几何学就是一门研究恒定不变宇宙的学科
So geometry is basically the study of a universe in which nothing changes.
It’s space and objects that don’t change in time.
又过了2000多年 才让像伽利略和牛顿这些伟大的科学家
It took another 2000 years for people, great scientists like Galileo and Newton to fully
真正将时间融入数学和物理之中 并且更进一步将物理发展带入黄金时期
incorporate time into mathematics and physics and to further bring physics into its renaissance
这时 物理与时间和其复杂性充分交融
in which it fully embraced time and its complexity.
Biology as well.
直到19世纪 生物学发展都是静态的 直到达尔文的出现
Up until the 1800s biology was fairly static until Darwin came along playing the role of
他的角色就相当于伽利略之于物理一样 他说:“看呐 物种在变化
Galileo and said “Look, species change.
They’re in motion.
They’re mutating and adapting.”
在我看来 神经系统科学现在也刚刚处于那个阶段
I think neuroscience is just reaching that stage now in which it’s fully coming to
它即将与错综复杂的时间相拥 充满活力
embrace the time and its full complexity along with dynamics and look at the brain as a time
这时再看我们的大脑 就差不多相当于一台时光机了
machine of sorts.
这么说来 人类的大脑确实是一台幻觉工厂
So the brain is indeed an illusion factory.
Many of the things that we experience in the world around us are an illusion in one sense
of that word.
So a common example is color.
So color we perceive in this vivid array of different sensory experiences, is something
在许多方面来看是我们的幻觉 这是因为在现实世界中并不存在颜色这种东西
that in many ways an illusion because color doesn’t exist in the physical world.
What exists in the physical world is wavelength.
确切来说是 电磁光谱可见光的波长
The wavelengths of visible light of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The brain if you will imposes a sensory percept on top of those wavelengths which is subject
to many illusions.
The intensity of green or intensity of blue that we see often doesn’t exactly match
the wavelengths that we’re seeing anyway.
所以 如果说我们的时间观念或者我们对时间流逝的感觉是幻觉
So it’s reasonable to ask well maybe our sense of time or our sense of flow of time
is an illusion.
但我认为 这两种主观的体验之间还是有非常重要的不同
But I think there’s an important difference between those two subjective experiences.
So our sense of color correlates very tightly with something in the external world, with
a physical property which is visible light.
And that’s why it’s adaptive.
所以 如果颜色进化了 那我们对颜色的感知也会进化 正是因为它的适应性
So color evolved, our perception of color evolved because it was adaptive, it was evolutionary
它在不断地发展和适应 告诉我们外在世界的信息
adaptive to provide information about the external world.
蛇的颜色可以告诉我们十分重要的信息 那就是它是否有剧毒
The color of a snake may tell us very important information whether it’s poisonous or not.
我们可以假定 我们对时间流逝的感觉也是具有适应性的
Now presumably our sense of the flow of time should be adaptive as well.
Most of our subjective experiences presumably have some evolutionary advantage to them.
If our sense of the flow of time is an illusion in the deepest sense, meaning that it reflects
这意味着某种东西在物质世界中不存在 但这样就有点难理解
something that doesn’t exist in the physical world, then it’s a bit hard to understand
what would be the evolutionary purpose of our sense of the flow of time.
所以我认为 物理学家和神经系统科学家们需要进一步的合作
So I think there’s reasons to which physicists and neuroscientists have to collaborate more
and to resolve these mysteries.
我们应该关注时间流逝的感觉 这是一种主观的感受
Should we look at the sense of the flow of time, our subjective sense of the flow of
这种十分真切深远的感觉 每一个地球上的人都能明显地感觉到
time which is very profound, right, where truly every human on the planet has this unmistakable
另外 我们还要弄清楚 是否我们对时间流淌真切的感觉
feeling of time flowing and we have to decide if that unmistakable feeling of time flowing
是不断进化发展后的产物 这是因为
by is something that evolved because it offered a selective advantage about what’s happening
这种感觉对于世界发生的事情 有选择性优势
in the world.
因此 这种感觉可能与世界上确实存在的实体有联系
And thus it correlates with a property of the universe that really exists or if in contrast
或者恰恰相反 它与物质世界里任何实物都没有关系
it’s an illusion that doesn’t correspond to any property of the physical world.
如果是这样的话 物理学家们就不需要对意识进化的基础原理做出解释了
And then in that case physicists don’t have to explain the basis of evolution of consciousness.
I mean the illusion of the nature of the flow of time.
But neuroscientists have to work to resolve that mystery.
另一方面 如果我们同意我们对时间流逝的感知 是一种对于外在世界
On the other hand if we accept that our sense of the flow of time is a valid empirical observation
依靠经验而有效的观测 那么物理学家就得试图解释我们到底感知到了什么?
about the external world then physics has to attempt to explain what we are perceiving.