Dr. Pascual-Leon's study also took a good 70 minutes for one person's mind to register another person's thought, much more time than our text messages and emails and the sensates' interactions in the show, which are instantaneous. That opens up the question: how fast can thought travel from one person to another, especially when it's unmediated by technology, jumping from brain to brain across countries? Is it possible for it to be comparable to unmediated, in-person interaction?The speed of thought is dependent on how thick our nerves are—the thickest axons can be 200 times thicker than the thinnest ones—but our brain already contains enough miles of wiring that it could span the space between the Earth and the moon.Reaction times have been measured to be 400-500 milliseconds, with 20-30 milliseconds for an impulse to run between synapses (the spaces between neurons). The space between neurons is 20 nanometers, so if we did that math, it would mean that, roughly, a thought runs .001 millimeters per second. For comparison, the speed of sound is 343.2 meters per second.
The speed of thought is dependent on how thick our nerves are.
In other words, human minds are literally interdependent with one another.Dr. Singer took that thought one step further, saying that the focus of the latest studies have been on whether our empathy abilities could be trained to be more cooperative and pro-social. According to her, the answer is yes.We might not all have a significant mental connection to other people around the world, and we might not be able to telepathically speak or see or emulate their feelings with a quickness—at least, not for decades more research and technological advancement. But that doesn't mean we can't deepen our connections with one another.
Empathy research shows that in principle we are much more connected to others than we consciously are aware of. We represent the feelings and needs of others in terms of our own. We are in constant affective resonance with others.