The Perception of Time

It is the first of December…can you believe it?!?  I know it is cliche to say “This year has gone by so fast!”, but for real…this year has gone by so fast!

The perception of time has always been an interesting topic.  It is hard for humans to grasp, because our perception always seems to change.  However, there are a few facts, theories, or ideas about the perception of time:

Time is a Series of Events

According to studies dating back to the 19th century, the brain perceives time by the changes in events, or the series of events.  The brain perceives the order and sequence of events, and the duration between events.  The brain categorizes these events as either simultaneous, or successive.  These series of events of time may overlap with other series of events, and so on. However, the exact time between events is a little more fuzzy for the brain to perceive, and is much more subjective.

Time is Reconstructed

The brain may perceive time, but it may be more accurate to say that the brain “Reconstructs” time.  The brain gathers the information the body receives, and organizes it, so that the brain can recall and store that memory or event.  When that memory/event is organized, then depending on how long it took the brain to process the event, could have an impact on how the brain perceives the amount of time the event took.

The Five Senses Perceive Time

However, what information does the brain receive, which gets organize and reconstructed?  Well, the information the brain receives comes from the different senses (touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste).  So in an “around-about-way”, the physical 5 senses is the underlying reason for the brain perceiving time.

Adrenaline and Dopamine

Both adrenaline and dopamine has been linked to the perception of time, however there is still a lot of mystery behind their full impact.  Dopamine is the natural chemical in the body that gives us a “High” we receive when we do something we enjoy (eating sweets, games, other stuff…).  Perhaps this is the reason why time seems to go by faster when we are having a fun time.

In the end, nobody honestly knows the full reasoning behind why we perceive time faster or slower at different times.  What about you?  Did 2018 go by speedy fast or sickeningly slow?  Put your answers in the comment section below, and I’ll see you next time!

 

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