Our perception of time is influenced by our heartbeat

At this very moment, your brain is unconsciously tracking the time, allowing you to focus on more useful tasks like reading this article. This happens automatically; But not consistently. Our brain’s perception of time can fluctuate, and some moments appear to be longer or shorter than they actually are.

Although these folds in time may be a distortion of reality; Technically, all of them are not related to our mind. According to ScienceAlertSome of those different perceptions of time originate from our hearts, according to a new study by researchers.

Adam K. Anderson, senior author of the study and professor of psychology at Cornell University, believes that heart rate plays a key role in keeping track of time by determining how quickly we perceive time. Anderson adds, “Time is one of the dimensions of the world and the main basis of our experience of ourselves. Our research shows that the moment-to-moment experience of time synchronises and changes with the length of the heartbeat.”

The changes in time perception, also called time warps, are natural and possibly adaptive, the researchers said. Previous research has also explored the origins of the wrinkle, showing that our thoughts and emotions can distort our sense of time, making some moments seem longer or shorter.

In their study last year, Anderson and his colleagues concluded that virtual train journeys seemed longer to passengers when the simulated trains were more crowded. But according to Anderson, most previous studies have focused on the perception of relatively long time intervals and as a result tend to focus more on how people estimate time instead of showing how people directly perceive time in the moment.

The recent study was conducted with the aim of people’s momentary understanding of time. Focusing on the natural oscillations of the heart, this research sought to discover the relationship between the perception of time and body rhythms. The overall rhythm of the heart may seem constant; But the fact is that each beat can be slightly shorter or longer than the previous beat.

Researchers have long suspected the role of the heart in helping the brain to keep time. Researches also show that heart rate can affect our perception of external stimuli.

The researchers selected 45 undergraduate students aged 18 to 21 from Cornell University to participate in the study. All participants had the same intensity of hearing and had no history of heart disease. The researchers used an electrocardiogram (ECG) with millisecond resolution to monitor the heart activity of the participants. They connected EKG machines to computers that were able to reproduce the heartbeats generated by the participants’ hearts.

Each tone of sound played by computers lasted only 80 to 180 milliseconds. After hearing each sound, participants were asked to say whether the sound played was longer or shorter than the other sounds.

According to the researchers, the results of this study confirm the existence of time warps. After performing the experiment, the participants realized that when the broadcast heart beat was shorter than the sound, the broadcast sound sounded longer, and when the heart beat was long, the sound sounded shorter. Anderson says in this regard:

Researchers emphasize that despite the effect of the heart on the brain’s perception of time, this effect is a two-way relationship. Hearing a certain sound by the participants caused them to focus their attention on the sound. This focus, as an orienting response, caused their heart rate to change and reset the participants’ experience of time.

Misunderstanding time may seem like a bad thing, but sometimes it really is; But this event, along with possible problems, may also have various adaptive advantages for certain types of temporal folds identified in this study.

The heart appears to help the brain function more efficiently with limited resources, the researchers said. They believe that the heart affects our experience of time on the smallest scales and affects our conscious thoughts or feelings for very short periods of time.

In part of his speech, Anderson says: “Even in moment-to-moment intervals, our sense of time is fluctuating. “The net effect of the heart from one beat to another helps create our sense of time.”

This study in Journal of Psychophysiology It has been published.

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