Symposia abstracts > Wednesday 25th October 2.30pm-3.45pm

Listen to your Heart: Our Inner Perception and Experience of Time (Nicola Cellini and Giovanna Mioni)

Speakers: Marc Wittmann (Germany), Nicola Cellini (Italy), Alexandre C. Fernandes (Portugal), Olga Pollatos (Germany)

Recent studies suggest a key role of bodily signals in the cognitive processing of time. Indeed, it has been showed that basal physiology as well as arousing situations, such as changes in body temperature, skin conductance level, muscle reactivity, and cardiac activity may affect our perception of time. For example, studies have showed how subjective experience of time is lengthened when physiological arousal increases as results of presentation of emotional stimuli, stressing situations, or mood variations.Based on these results, it has been proposed that physiological changes may not just represent the output of a possible pacemaker interfering with subjective time, but they can work as timekeepers themselves. It has been also proposed that time perception may be an embodied property of our cognition, which relies on affective and interoceptive states, that are dependent on internal bodily signals.  In other words, the subjective temporal experience of external events relies on physiological rhythms which are then integrated by cortical networks responsible for integrating bodily signals (Wittmann, 2013). This suggests that the experience of time is the result of a combination of visceral integration (i.e., interoceptive awareness) and autonomic (sympathetic/parasympathetic) control and it is based on the temporal integration of afferent signals from the body itself (Craig, 2002).

Although these fascinating models aim to integrate classical cognitive models with physiological indices, the studies supporting them are showing inconsistent results, mainly due to experimental and methodological challenges. In this symposium, we aim to describe the state of art of the field and we aim to open a discussion about how body and mind are working together to keep the clock ticking and to track the passage of time, and to try to overcome the challenge this field is facing. 




Circadian Rhythms in Health and Disease (Valérie SIMONNEAUX (France)

Speakers: Claude GRONFIER (France), Etienne CHALLET (France), Fabien PIFFERI (France)

All Biological functions display daily rhythms which are synchronized to the environment and among each other by a network of primary and secondary biological clocks. This symposium will discuss the mechanisms underlying the daily regulation of essential functions like sleep, locomotor activity and feeding through the use of unconventional animal models. It will also report how desychronization of daily rhythms has negative impacts on health and ageing processes.



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