How is ‘time’ represented’ in the brain?
I am not sure what the exact mechanism of time keeping in the brain is. I know I can sleep and wake and know the time to within a few minutes.
I know that anaesthetics remove that ability to keep track of time while unconscious.
I know that in some states of dreaming and mediation and illness there can be severe distortion of the sense of time, so that seconds seem to take hours to pass.
I strongly suspect that a specific region of the brain will have a chemically mediated clocking mechanism, but I have not investigated the details.
With a lot of practice I have trained myself to be able to count time very accurately, and mark periods of up to 10 minutes with an accuracy of about 1 second.
And our sense of time seems to be linked to memory.
I have had experience of driving, and being deep in thought about a problem, and suddenly becoming aware that half an hour has past, and I have driven 30 miles, and I have no recollection of the driving, only of the contemplation. Many similar experiences, in discussions and in programming. I have an ability to so engage in my internal world that no external stimuli make it through (Ailsa hates that, even though she knows it is not personal).