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Thread: The human perception of time

  1. #1 The human perception of time 
    Forum Freshman Fozzie's Avatar
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    All man-made clocks and some natural ones like pulsars rely on some form of oscillator, be it physical or electrical. How then, can we as humans guess comparatively accurately the passage of time. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am not aware of any form of oscillator in our brains...


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  3. #2  
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    There is a form of 'clock' in the brain, it's called the circadian rhythm.

    Yes we are poor judges of time, sometimes it goes fast, other times not so..


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    Forum Freshman Fozzie's Avatar
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    Thanks. I have read up all about this on Wikipedia but I still don't understand how we can judge the passage of time - say a minute, to within 10% quite easily. I can anyway.

    It now occurs to me that if the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the brain was destroyed, would it affect how fast we age?
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    Is it any different to being able to judge length without a tape/ruler or other measuring stick?

    Sometimes you are close and sometimes you are not!

    Sorry can't answer the supercalifragilisticexpialidoshus part, not my subject. :wink:
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  6. #5  
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    IIRC the areas involved in time perception in the brain are located in the basal ganglia and parietal lobe and contain neurons that fire at a set rate which act like clocks. I read an interesting article recently (which i'll post if I find) about parkinsons and time perception. Apparantly when these areas were discovered it was found that the primary neurotransmitter released was dopamine. As Parkinson's disease causes an abnormal reduction in dopamine, it explained why people suffering wit the disease often had problems with time perception.
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  7. #6  
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    No. It would not effect how fast we physically age.
    It is not so much that I have confidence in scientists being right, but that I have so much in nonscientists being wrong. --- Isaac Asimov
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    Okay..........I am not AT ALL suggesting that anyone should try this; infact I advise STRONGLY against it.

    However, if you smoke cannabis (a depressant) the passage of time seems a lot slower and if you take a narcotic such as Ecstasy MDMA the passage of time seems really quick.....So I think that our perception of time has more to do with the rate at which our neurons are firing and how many hits each one takes before it fires off to the next one.

    Well thats my theory.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

    www.leohopkins.com
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