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Is it possible to retrain our brains and improve our relationship with it? In Time Warped , Claudia Hammond offers insight into how to manage our time more efficiently, how to speed time up and slow it down at will, how to plan for the future with more accuracy, and she teaches how to use the warping of time to our own benefit.

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Claudia Hammond is a writer, broadcaster, and psychology lecturer. She is the author of one previous book, Emotional Rollercoaster , and is also a part-time member of faculty at Boston University in London. In this work Claudia Hammond shares insights from the emerging field of the psychology of time, showing us how we subjectively experience time. She asks the critical question of whether the stretching or shrinking of time is an illusion, or whether the mind processes time differently at different parts of our lives.

A central idea explored in this book is the view that the experience of time is actively created by our minds, influenced by memory, concentration, emotion, and the sense we have that time is rooted in space. This last influence, time as rooted in space, is particularly enlightening. Some of us visualize time concretely as a line or continuum that moves from the left or right, or that moves toward or away from us depending on our mental construct. Not everyone visualizes time, but the idea that some of us can do so is potent for how we personally experience time.

Writing in a warm, accessible style, and drawing on fields as diverse as neuroscience, psychology, and biology, Hammond helps understand how time, and our interaction with it, shapes our lives and how we can improve our relationship with time, using it to our advantage. Having just read Charles Fernyhough's excellent 'Pieces of Light', which was all about memory, this book just paled in comparison.

The research was less thorough and the explanations were repetitive and sometime unclear. Where Fernyhough's book was a mixture of fiction and informed neuroscience, 'Time Warped' was a crossover between science and self-help. I enjoyed reading about how some people experience a kind of synaesthesia when visualising time, viewing time as a slinky for example, or a sh Having just read Charles Fernyhough's excellent 'Pieces of Light', which was all about memory, this book just paled in comparison.

I enjoyed reading about how some people experience a kind of synaesthesia when visualising time, viewing time as a slinky for example, or a shroud which wraps around their body.

Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception

Apparently we all spacialise time - backed up by the fact that those of us that read from left to right view time in space that way whereas cultures that read from the right to the left or from the top to the bottom of the page view it that way. Some of the descriptions of experiments were also interesting but more for the extremes that people will go to in the name of science rather than for explaining their actual scientific value. As someone who is interested in the workings of our brain and our perception of time for instance how the same period of time can be experienced as both passing fast and slow by two individuals , this book ought to be a sure winner with me.

Alas, it's not quite there. The topic is plenty interesting, but the way Hammond tells about it is - well, it doesn't work for me. For one thing, I believe the author herself takes up too much space, insisting on adding her own anecdotes and life experiences - As someone who is interested in the workings of our brain and our perception of time for instance how the same period of time can be experienced as both passing fast and slow by two individuals , this book ought to be a sure winner with me.

For one thing, I believe the author herself takes up too much space, insisting on adding her own anecdotes and life experiences - plus trying to coin the 'holiday paradox' theory and making it her own. Maybe that's why it keeps popping up throughout the book. At places the book also seems to veer of and be just as much about memory. Naturally, memory plays a part in our perception of time, but the book could stay the course in a better way.

Or, acknowledge, that we've left the path and go further into the memory research. For example, when we hear of Henry who lost his ability to create new memories after failed brain surgery the surgeon sucked part of his brain out , part of what is truly fascinating is that the researchers through interviews and tests with Henry discovered that we have a procedural memory as well. He was given the task of drawing along the lines of a shape, viewed through a mirror, a task that he got better and better at despite the fact that he couldn't remember drawing the shape before.

Not that there necessarily is something wrong with that, but I feel it disturbs the focus of the book - and when she gets to the part about mindfulness, I am glad that the last page of the book is fast approaching, if only it could happen faster. All in all, I feel I've been through a lecture on a really fascinating subject, but with a lecturer that couldn't really catch my attention. Hammond examines how our minds perceive and construct time, and her descriptions of just how elastic and malleable it can be are truly surprising.

Illustrating her ideas with plenty of individual stories, from glider pilots in free fall to scientists secluded in caves for months at a time, she explains how time changes speed, how we measure and co Lecturer and broadcaster Claudia Hammond's Time Warped continues a great year for brain books The Power of Habit and Wait being only a few examples. Illustrating her ideas with plenty of individual stories, from glider pilots in free fall to scientists secluded in caves for months at a time, she explains how time changes speed, how we measure and conceive of it, and how it is central to both memory and the ability to think about the future.

Hammond also makes some interesting observations about cultural constructions of time; most Westerners picture it moving from left to right, while Chinese describe it moving up and down think about their respective written languages. This was an easy book to relate to because we all experience time and intuitively understand that it can drag, pass by too quickly, or simply warp. If you're like me and have the occasional my wife would say frequent - but that's just a perception of time confusion about time, then you'll certainly enjoy Time Warped.

Time is one of the least understood variables that can be measured, because it's seemingly so temperamental.

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Time can drag or speed up, depending on whether you're bored or having fun. This book shows how we can exercise a little bit of control over the lucid creature that time is, and so gain a little control over our lives. Nov 15, Jodi rated it really liked it. Hammond writes an informative, thought-provoking book on how people view time—even literally and spatially.

Time Warped – House of Anansi Press

Also intriguing was the cultural and societal views toward time as illustrated in the language used. English speakers tend to use spatial such as long or short and others use amount such as little or much. The brain for decades has been described as a jungle no longer as a filing cabinet with things placed orderly in a location. The jungle analogy seems to lead credence to the possibility of synasesthesia. Hammond claims that it does lessen with age as the brain prunes out unwanted connections or tidies up the vines and branches which one would suppose is applied to both semantic memory of factual knowledge and episodic memory of personal events.

How To Slow Down Time

One area she does stress is the time travel in the mind. Humans body processes also need the psychological elements of memory, concentration and emotion and the ability to time-travel in our mindsthat is the imagination. Remembering the Future chapter brings to mind to this reviewer the basic difference between humans and other animals is that we have the capacity for an imagination.


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Future thinking is to mentally time-travel to imagine our future and plan our lives. Thus, I was surprised when on page a physiologist's report was shared which suggests that people abandon their imaginations altogether in order to understand how they feel about the future. The writer went on to discuss how the government can create adequate pension planning if citizens were asked to live on a fixed income next week rather than think of it as a couple of decades from now.

This is intriguing but many people do live on minimal fixed incomes already. To scare people into saving more to save the public money and prevent old people from living in poverty, seems a bit cruel to those already living on a small income. Therefore, we can use the emotion of fear to save the government money? Obviously, this reviewer did not appreciate that use of imagination and emotion.

So how can time often feel that it has passed quickly while simultaneously, slowly? The Holiday Paradox was an excellent explanation and one we all can relate to. This is why time speeds up as we get older. Experience has given us so many memories that new perceptions are further away from each other and that slows down the time-frame. One thing covered by Hammond that got my attention was how scary it is for people who cannot envision a future. The hostage relayed on page the need for goals or a plan to keep seeing some semblance of a future.

Is this what experts warn retirees about? Time is rushing by although they are doing something different it feels that way every day. Not new, but different. Hammond actually has given people permission not to freak out. It is their choice, to make the decisions and set their itinerary.

Time Warped: Unlocking The Mysteries Of Time Perception

They can decide how to feel about time rushing. Adjust your thinking about time speeding up and slipping by without you realizing it or slowing down such as when you are in a line at the market and want time to pass quickly. Bottom line, if you want things to slow down, you must embark on unique and varied experiences; if you want time to speed up, then establish routines with just enough difference to awaken and create memories. May 13, Amy is currently reading it. I'm only on page 19 so far but there's something that is already driving me insane to the point where if it keeps up I won't be able to finish this or get much further at all.

I skimmed forward to find even more of this problem happening all too often. Maybe it's nitpicky, but sometimes you get that one thing in a book that happens so often you just can't do it. The 'thing' in this book is telling us that she will talk more about something she mentions later. Here are the examples so far- -The in I'm only on page 19 so far but there's something that is already driving me insane to the point where if it keeps up I won't be able to finish this or get much further at all.

A lot of people discuss what they will be discussing in the introduction, but when it gets to this extent I could do without.

This was all in the first chapter. I get it. I know you will be discussing stuff later on or in the next paragraph, as that is usually how books are formatted, but it doesn't need to be announced this often! And I can understand suspending stories for later on as strategy, but in addition to all these "in this other chapter" announcements it just adds to my frustration. I also understand how counterproductive it seems that I'm so annoyed by this tedious problem that I tediously recorded it in detail, but I just really felt the need to share this.

Another small but significant thing in my opinion- I find it to generally be a bad sign when I find a typo very early on. Page 9 in the intro- "If you want to know why time feels as though it's speeding up or why you world news events always feel as if Sep 25, Sunrise rated it it was amazing Shelves: philosophy. It combs through examples of how time feels as though it is passing faster or slower and which activity generates this effect.

This explains why, when someone who fears public speaking has to give a five minute speech, time seems to pass very slowly. My favorite portion of the book to really think about was when the author covered the making of memories. She points out something called the reminiscence bump: the period of time age when most memories are made. The reason for so many memories to be made during this time is because we experience many things for the first time such as relationships, jobs, travel, living alone, and etc.