Navigation Links
People Appear to Use Senses to Keep Track of Time
Date:1/21/2011

FRIDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A person's perception of time may be influenced more by sensory information than by a specific internal clock, suggests a new study.

And that means that outside stimuli can bias a person's sense of how much time has passed, researchers say.

"There are many proposals for how an internal clock might work, but no one has found a single part of the brain that keeps track of time. It may be that there is no such place, that our perception of time is distributed across the brain and makes use of whatever information is available," Maneesh Sahani, of the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at University College London in the United Kingdom, said in a university news release.

Sahani and colleagues conducted a series of experiments with volunteers to test this theory. In one such test, 20 participants watched circles of light appear on a screen twice in a row, and were asked which one lasted longer. When the circles were flashed along with a mottled pattern that changed at random, but at a regular interval, the participants made better guesses -- which indicated that they were judging the passing of time against the rate in which the mottled pattern changed.

Then the scientists changed the rules: They asked the participants to determine how long the mottled patterns lasted, but varied the rate of the intervals between pattern changes. Although the patterns changed faster, the volunteers judged them to be lasting longer -- a phenomenon suggesting that sensory change can warp a person's sense of time.

The researchers concluded that people's sense of time comes partly from observing the rate of change in their surroundings and comparing it to the expected "average" rate of change in their sensory inputs.

"Our sense of time is affected by outside stimuli, and is therefore highly [variable], which is something that resonates with people's feelings about the passing of time," Sahani said.

Study first author Misha Ahrens added: "It is possible to bias people's perception of time, which does not fit with the idea of a rigid internal brain clock. The answer to why this happens is that part of our perception of time is based on changing sensory input from the outside world, which we can use to improve our judgments of time in an environment where rate of change is likely to be reliable."

The study was published in the Jan. 20 online edition of the journal Current Biology.

More information

For more information on our biological clock, visit the University of Utah's Time of Our Lives.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: University College London, news release, Jan. 20, 2011


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Depressed people feel more gray than blue
2. Exercise Success for People Over 50: Reports of Improved Fitness, Circulation and Balance
3. Vaccine May Prevent TB in People With HIV
4. People with anxiety disorder less able to regulate response to negative emotions, study shows
5. Can mobile phones help people EatWell?
6. “Hearts and Minds” Education Program Launched: On Average, People with Mental illness Live 25 Years Less than Other Americans
7. Happy People More Likely to Try Something New
8. Board Certified Renal Specialist, Nina Kolbe, Publishes Second Edition of Kidney Health Gourmet: A Diet Guide and Kidney Friendly Recipes for People Not on Dialysis
9. Visual Cues that Improve Walking for People with Movement Disorders - Study Shows Small Change in Arrangement Can Make a Big Difference in Improvement Gained
10. Pelosi on Repealing Antitrust Exemption: Health Insurance Companies Will Now Be Playing on the Peoples Field
11. Gingrich Hosts The American Peoples Online Health Summit
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
People Appear to Use Senses to Keep Track of Time
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the ... several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern ... Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He ... Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a ... such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain ... following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of ... AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Haute Beauty ... Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s newest partner. ... and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should be invisible.” ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... VEGAS , June 26, 2016 ... to value-based care operating models within the health care ... enable greater financial efficiency , Deloitte offers a ... the key business issues impacting efficient cost optimization: labor ... , These services facilitate better outcomes and better ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Bay ... Rehabilitation Network,s Dean Center for Tick Borne ... Medicine and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of ... Innovation, today announced the five finalists of ... Lyme disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... BEIJING , June 24, 2016 Dehaier ... or the "Company"), which develops, markets and sells medical ... China , signed a strategic cooperation agreement with ... as "Hongyuan Supply Chain") on June 20, 2016, to ... Under the strategic cooperation agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: