Why Time Sometimes Flies or Drags: How the Brain Creates the Experience of Time – HBTECHUSA – BEST solution Tech
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Why Time Sometimes Flies or Drags: How the Brain Creates the Experience of Time

Why Time Sometimes Flies or Drags: How the Brain Creates the Experience of Time
By Society for Neuroscience September 14, 2020 Time-sensitive neurons fatigue and skew our perception of time. On some days, time flies by, while on others it seems to drag on. A new study from JNeurosci reveals why: time-sensitive neurons get worn out and skew our perceptions of time. Neurons in the supramarginal gyrus (SMG) fire in response…

By Society for Neuroscience
September 14, 2020

Time Concept Illustration

Time-sensitive neurons fatigue and skew our perception of time.

On some days, time flies by, while on others it seems to drag on. A new study from JNeurosci reveals why: time-sensitive neurons get worn out and skew our perceptions of time.

Neurons in the supramarginal gyrus (SMG) fire in response to a specific length of time. If repeatedly exposed to a stimulus of a fixed duration, the neurons fatigue. Since other neurons continue firing normally, our subjective perception of time becomes skewed.

SMG Activity Time

SMG that exhibited decrease in the activity following duration adaptation (left). Correlation between the magnitude of time distortion and the change in SMG activity (right). Credit: Hayashi and Ivry, JNeurosci 2020

Hayashi and Ivry measured brain activity with fMRI as human participants engaged in a time comparison task. Healthy adult participants viewed a visual adaptor (a grey circle) for a set length of time, 30 times in a row. After this adaptation period, they were shown a test stimulus and indicated its duration. If the adaptor duration was long, the participants underestimated time; if the adaptor duration was short, they overestimated time. Activity in the SMG decreased when the adaptor and test stimulus were similar in length, indicating neuron fatigue. The extent of skewed time perception correlated with how much the activity in the SMG decreased — greater fatigue led to greater time distortion.

Reference: “Duration-Selectivity in Right Parietal Cortex Reflects the Subjective Experience of Time” 14 September 2020, Journal of Neuroscience.


DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0078-20.2020

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