Human Development

Time-gap experience

Particularly in western culture, life is clearly structured by time requirements, so that one is habitually aware of time as measured by the clock and the passing of time. However, the experience of having no awareness of a period of time is common, when time passes without the events habitually taken as time-markers being registered. The awareness is not of the time which is being "lost" but of "waking up" after the time-gap experience and realizing that time has past without one being aware of it. The experience may arise when one is carrying out a complex series of activities, such as driving a car, but these activities become habitual and not requiring conscious attention, for example in quiet traffic conditions, when the task has relatively unchanging demands. Strictly speaking, then, the gap is not in time but in alertness or conscious attention.