How do we perceive time? Findings on the relationship between affect and time, together with recent conceptualizations on self- and body
processes have connected time perception with emotional and bodily states. Neural processes in the insular cortex, which are related to body
signals, feeling states as well as to self-consciousness, are constitutive mechanisms for the creation of subjective time.
Next to fundamental research on the relationship between the experience of time with cognitive processes and affect, we study how the sense
of time is modulated in altered states of consciousness such as in meditation or in drug-induced states as well as in neurological and
Related to conceptualizations of an intricate relationship between self-consciousness, mindfulness and
subjective time, we are conducting a series of experiments probing for changes in the duration of the subjective present
through mindfulness meditation experience. We are employing a battery of psychophysical tasks related to perception of sequence,
to the integration of metronome beats, and the perception of alternations in an ambiguous figure and we are investigating
whether effects of meditation on the subjective present are modulated through heart-rate variability and breathing rate as bodily parameters.
The complete list of publications can be found here
Wittmann M (2015). Modulations of the experience of self and time. Consciousness and Cognition 38, 172-181.
Wittmann M. (2014). Embodied time: The experience of time, the body, and the self. In: Arstila V, Lloyd D (Eds.),
The philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience of temporality. Cambridge, MA: MIT press, 507-523.
Wittmann M., Peter J., Gutina O., Otten S., Kohls N. & Meissner K. (2014). Individual differences in self-attributed
are related to the experience of time and cognitive self-control. Personality and Individual Differences 64, 41-45.
Pollatos O., Laubrock J. & Wittmann M. (2014). Interoceptive focus shapes the experience of time. PLoS ONE 9(1): e86934.
Jo H-G., Hinterberger T., Wittmann M., Borghardt TL. & Schmidt S. (2013). Spontaneous EEG fluctuations determine the
Is preconscious brain activation a preparation process to move? Experimental Brain Research 231, 495-500.
Wittmann M. (2013). The inner sense of time: how the brain creates a representation of duration. Nature Reviews
Neuroscience 14, 217-223.
Wittmann M. (2011). Moments in time. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 5 (66).
Meissner K. & Wittmann M. (2011). Body signals, cardiac awareness, and the perception of time. Biological Psychology 86, 289-297.
Wittmann M., Simmons AN., Aron J. & Paulus MP. (2010). Accumulation of neural activity in the posterior insula encodes
the passage of time. Neuropsychologia 48, 3110-3120.
Wittmann M., van Wassenhove V., Craig AD. & Paulus MP. (2010). The neural substrates of subjective time dilation. Frontiers
in Human Neuroscience 4 (2).
Further information about the research of Marc Wittmann: