by Patrick Appel
Carl Zimmer studies it:
[R]educing the speed of thought in just the right places is crucial to the fundamentals of consciousness. Our moment-to-moment awareness of our inner selves and the outer world depends on the thalamus, a region near the core of the brain, which sends out pacemaker-like signals to the brain’s outer layers. Even though some of the axons reaching out from the thalamus are short and some are long, their signals arrive throughout all parts of the brain at the same timea good thing, since otherwise we would not be able to think straight.