The brain’s chronosensor

The Thinking Tools teacher course is the only program in the world attending to the role of the chronosensor.

We are born with a chronosensor (chrono means time) in the brain, which is responsible for gathering chronological and sequencing data, gauging the passing of time and rhythm types of information from the other senses.

At first this sensor seems to be more latent than active, but this may not be the whole truth. When still in the womb, a baby is exposed to sounds and rhythm, such as the mother’s heartbeat and other bodily sounds, as well as external sounds such as music.

I would suggest newborns’ chronosensors are still latent in determining the passing of time, as they cannot yet distinguish between day and night. It surprises parents when their newborn cannot sleep during the night and is awake during daytime, instead of sleeping at night like “all humans” do. Newborns have a steep learning curve to set a sleep routine, as well as other daily and bodily routines, to eventually have their lives synchronised with the universe in which they were born.

The chronosensor continuously obtains and interprets information regarding the physical position of the sun via the eyes to instil a feeling of time and time passed. It also obtains information from the ears to inform the brain about sounds related to the time of the day, for example, the sounds birds make when the sun rises, which differ from daytime and dawn sounds. This is supported by other sounds that inform the chronosensor what is happening when. It happens simultaneously with the thermoreceptors that inform the chronosensors about the outside temperature as it relates to the time of the day, current weather and season. The chronosensor also draws information from the proprioceptors about body movement and position.

A child’s alignment with the universe can be enhanced and speeded up by undertaking alignment activities such as regularly showing the child where the sun rises and sets. Best is to say to the child that the sun rises in the east and then we have daylight and sets in the west and then it is dark. The same with the moon. This can happen from the first month. Later on time can be added for example: “look the sun is rising, it is now early it is 6 o’clock. The list is endless.

When chronoception is continuously enhanced in a child over subsequent years, such a child has an advantage in terms of chrono-literacy. This enables the child to distinguish between today, yesterday and the day before yesterday, tomorrow and so on, as well as knowing when a friend’s age is closer to six years than to five years.

However, this is not where the chronosensor’s role stops. The chronosensor plays a major role in reading and writing. Words and their sounds have rhythms, sentences have rhythms, and so do essays, poems, and prose. There are rhythms in maths. A word sum has a rhythm that must be resolved. Likewise sums to factorise and simplify. Pythagoras’ theorem has a rhythm; and so have the sine rule and the parabola.

More in the book Potential Development using Thinking Tools - The Key to Flipped Teaching 2nd edition


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