Time Warped

Time Warped

Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception

Book - 2012
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We are obsessed with time. However hard we might try, it is almost impossible to spend even one day without the marker of a clock. But how much do we understand about time, and is it possible to retrain our brains and improve our relationship with it?

Drawing on the latest research from the fields of psychology, neuroscience, and biology, and using original research on the way memory shapes our understanding of time, acclaimed writer and broadcaster Claudia Hammond delves into the mysteries of time perception. Along the way, she introduces us to an extraordinary array of colourful characters willing to go to great lengths in the interests of research, such as the French speleologist Michel, who spends two months in an ice cave in complete darkness.

Time Warped shows us how to manage our time more efficiently, speed time up and slow it down at will, plan for the future with more accuracy, and, ultimately, use the warping of time to our own advantage.

Publisher: Toronto : Anansi International, 2012
ISBN: 9781770892125
Branch Call Number: 153.7 HAM NVD
Characteristics: 342 p. : ill. ; 22 cm


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A patron review from the Adult Summer Reading Game: A great primer on where brain research has gotten us when it comes to understanding the human conception of time. Hammond fills in the research with stories of wacky time experiments and some exercises to try and trips to follow to help the reader control time.

ksoles Jan 07, 2013

A young Frenchman chooses to maroon himself in the darkness of an ice cave for two months, volunteers step blindfolded to the very edge of a deadly drop down a stairwell and a woman makes copious notes on her daily life for five years and tests herself every month on how accurately she recalls them. These crazy stunts represent just some of the lengths people go to to test human perception of time.

In "Time Warped," BBC reporter Claudia Hammond attempts to answer a few of many questions on the subject of time: Why does it seem like only yesterday that our university aged children were toddlers? Why does time drag in a grocery store line-up but fly during pleasurable events? Hammond communicates her research excellently and tells gripping stories to enhance the science, including that of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, held hostage in Gaza and confined to one room with no idea how long he'd be held in captivity and, quite literally, nothing to do.

At its most fascinating, the book discusses how people literally picture time. Do you see it running away from you, or yourself running towards it? Why do some people imagine the months going counter-clockwise around a wheel? Does your concept of "before" and "after" vary according to whether you write your language right to left or left to right? And, finally, can you really be sure (and if so, how?) you remember the year Princess Diana died?

Informative, stimulating and accessible, "Time Warped" proves a worthy addition to anyone's non-fiction list.

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