Dr. Dr. habil. Marc Wittmann                     

Dr. hum. biol. Dr. habil. med.

Institut für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene

Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health

Wilhelmstr. 3a, 79098 Freiburg, Germany

Tel. +49 (0) 761 207 21 73 

E-Mail: wittmann AT igpp DOT de


Web of Science: 40

Google Scholar: 57

Time perception 

Altered states of consciousness


Drug effects and drug dependence

How do we perceive time? How is the subjective experience of time related to cognition, emotion, and body states?

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 sensations, feeling states as well as to self-consciousness, are constitutive for the creation of subjective time.

Next to fundamental research on time perception I study how the sense of time is modulated in altered states of consciousness as well as in neurological and psychiatric conditions.

Latest Highlights / News:

CHANSE Programme TIMe experience in Europe’s Digital age (TIMED) for the investigation of the impact of digitalisation on the experience of time and temporality across 6 European countries: 11/2022 - 10/2025 with €1,561,633 (my Freiburg lab: €180,100 funded by BMBF). Investigators: Ruth Ogden (Liverpool), Nuria Codina (Barcelona), Filip Vostal, Vanda Černohorská (Prague), Chantal Martin-Soelch, Omar Abou Khaled,  Leonardo Angelini (Fribourg), Marc Wittmann (Freiburg), Joanna Witowska (Warsaw).

Since February 2022: My IGPP lab on Time Perception and Time Consciousness presents the Floatation-REST cabin, designed by floataway, our new technological device to induce altered states of consciousness, located at Prana Freiburg.

Why most theories of consciousness have to be necessarily inadequate; they miss the notion of a temporally extended consciousness: Kent L, Wittmann M (2021). Time consciousness: The missing link in theories of consciousness. Neuroscience of Consciousness 2021, 7(2): niab011

EU project granted for the investigation of the sense of time in healthy individuals and patients with psycho-pathological disorders with virtual reality (VR): 01/2019 - 12/2023. VIRTUALTIMES - Exploring and modifying the sense of time in virtual environments. EU Call Horizon 2020 Topic FETPROACT-01-2018 with €4,404,698 (my Freiburg lab: €505,000). Investigators: Kai Vogeley (Cologne), Marc Wittmann (Freiburg), Anne Giersch (Strasbourg), Marc Erich Latoschik, Jean-Luc Lugrin (Würzburg), Giulio Jacucci, Niklas Ravaja (Helsinki), Xavier Palomer, Xavier Oromi (Barcelona).

Who is afraid of waiting? Time and the emotional self while having to wait: Jokic T, Zakay D, Wittmann M (2018). Individual differences in self-rated impulsivity modulate the estimation of time in a real waiting situation. Timing & Time Perception 6, 71–89.

How self consciousness and subjective time are dependent on each other: Wittmann M (2015). Modulations of the experience of self and time. Consciousness and Cognition 38, 172–181.

A possible mechanism of the brain for the representation of duration: 'climbing neural activity in interoceptive cortex': Wittmann M (2013). The inner sense of time: how the brain creates a representation of duration. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 14, 217–223.

Ein Interview mit mir im Schweizer Fernsehen: Sternstunde Philosophie: Was die Zeit mit uns macht. SRF TV 20.1.2013

A review on temporal integration and the feeling of presence: Wittmann M (2011). Moments in time. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 5, 66.

How the 'heart rate' affects the perception of time: Meissner K & Wittmann M (2011). Body signals, cardiac awareness, and the perception of time. Biological Psychology 86, 289–297.

How does the brain code the sense of passing time? An answer: Wittmann M, Simmons A, Aron J, Paulus MP (2010). Accumulation of activity in the posterior insula encodes the passage of time. Neuropsychologia 48, 3110–3120.

Theme issue on Temporal Factors in Decision Making: Wittmann M & Paulus MP (eds.) Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics. (2009) Volume 2 - Number 2: Part I: Modeling Approaches; (2010) Volume 3 - Number 1: Part II: Neuroimaging Approaches

Theme issue on the Neural Basis of Time Perception: Wittmann M & van Wassenhove V (eds.) Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (2009).


Außergewöhnliche Bewusstseinszustände


Drogenwirkung und Drogensucht

Wie nehmen wir Zeit wahr? Wie ist das Bewusstsein von Zeit mit dem Denken, unseren Gefühlen und Körperzuständen verbunden?

Befunde einer Beziehung von Emotionen und Zeit, sowie Konzepte der Selbstwahrnehmung und von Körpervorgängen binden das Zeitbewusstsein an emotionale und körperliche Zustände. Neuronale Prozesse im insularen Kortex, verbunden mit Gefühlen, Körperzuständen und Selbstbewusstsein, sind konstitutiv für die Erfahrung von Zeit.

Neben der Grundlagenforschung zur Zeitwahrnehmung wird die subjektive Zeit in außergewöhnlichen Bewusstseinszuständen sowie in psychopathologischen Zuständen untersucht.