Cognitive models of time: Across the lifespan, the world, and the mind

AbstractHow is it possible to mentally represent abstract concepts? One abstract domain, which has been explored by scholars across disciplines, is time. A concept of time allows us to understand our world and our memories, and to make decisions. However, “the concept of time” is a vast oversimplification. Time encompasses durations, sequences, locations relative to the ego, Newtonian beliefs, causal reasoning, linguistic structure, episodic memory, the “mental timeline,” and more. These facets of time span the gamut from perception to cognition, and scientists across fields explore relevant questions. However, they often do not use the same methods, vocabulary, or populations. The complexity of temporal cognition means that, if scientists are ever going to get a handle on the psychological nature of time, interdisciplinary dialog is necessary.

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