Mental clock games


Could a brain be characterized as an organ for coordinating complex cyclic motions, that turned out to have some other uses as well?

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My mind seems to have a natural clock rate of about half a second, perhaps a little longer. I suspect this is somewhat slower than average. When I walk, I tend to plod. If I try to speed up it takes mental effort, is unsustainable, out of spoons error.

What happens within that tick of the clock is consciously experienced as simultaneous, a lie assembled as a good enough representation of what the brain actually did.

Maybe if I can't tick along faster, I can take, say, three steps per tick

1 and a 2 and a 3 and a 4 and a

suppress the mental verbalization, so there's merely a more complex motor program

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that runs just a little slower than normal.

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How's that? I sped up and slowed down at the same time.

Except, it's not quite working. How about I add breathing?

1 . . 2 . . 3 . . 4 . .
Ooout Innnn Ooout Innnn

Breathing, like the hypothetical consciousness clock, is somewhat under conscious control, but not the extent that you can ever decide to stop.

Experiments continue.

For stringing together sequences of more complex actions, this becomes a combinatoric motor skill acquisition exercise. The mental moment becomes the sequence. If decisions need to be made within the moment it becomes a decision tree, again experienced as simultaneity. Failure modes: the illusion of making choices is stretched to breaking point, mistakes may be perceived as deliberate decisions, good luck may be perceived as having made decisions based on the future, potential to undermine personal narrative ("I am a person who ...").

See also: n-back games

See also: Peter Watt's vampires in "Blindsight", which live in an eternal present moment. I don't think this is possible. As consciousness seems to bound up in the ticking of the clock, I'm fine with its absence resulting in an absence of consciousness. However a moment is a unit that's planned and practised for, there's no adaptation within it except practised contingent reactions, and there's too many things that can happen over an extended period.