Alex Holcombe Lecture


Alex Holcombe

Delve into your Experience of Time

A public lecture by Alex Holcombe, Co-director of the Centre for Time, University of Sydney and Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.

Time cannot be seen or touched, yet we do experience it. Do our brains contain an internal clock whose ticks mark the passing of seconds, minutes, and weeks? Why does time sometimes seem to crawl, and other times fly? Results from experimental psychology and neuroscience will be used to address these questions. We will then zoom in on the shortest timescale, of moment-by-moment experience. Every millisecond, different aspects of the world such as colour and motion, are being processed by distinct parts of the brain, but our experience of these aspects is unified and assigned to a single timeline. Or is it? Some animated displays will be presented, the experience of which undermine our assumptions of how consciousness evolves over time.

Alex Holcombe is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Sydney and Co-director of the Centre for Time. He received a PhD from Harvard University on how the mind processes visual information over time. The latest work from his laboratory investigates how the mind of readers rapidly samples the words of a line of text and coordinates their processing. With others at the Centre for Time, he is interested in how the architecture of the mind affects our representations of the past, present, and future.

Alex Holcombe gave a postgraduate masterclass during his visit: