BEIJING, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) — According tomedia reports, the clock in the brain does not follow the world’s most accurate clock, ticking steadily… Instead, the brain clock seems to fly by at one point, while the other moment remains stationary. According to a new study, this distortion of time sensation may be due in part to excessive fatigue in brain cells.
The study found that when the brain is exposed multiple times at the same interval, nerve cells or brain cells are overstated and activated significantly less often. However, human perception of time is complex, and many other factors may explain why time is sometimes slow and sometimes fast.
Only recently have we begun to understand how the human brain perceives time, and in 2015 researchers first found evidence that neuron activity fluctuates with our perception of time, but it’s not clear whether these neurons found in the “SMG” neural region are precise timing for the brain or create a subjective experience of time.
In the latest study, scientists used “time illusions” to prove this for 18 healthy testers who were scanned by functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow.
The testers then went through a “adaptation period” during which they saw a gray circle appear on a black background about 250-750 milliseconds, 30 times in a row.
Later in the day, the testers saw another circle as a “test stimulus” and listened to white noise for a period of time and were asked if the stimulus was longer or shorter than white noise. They use white noise as a reference because auditory stimuli are not affected by the visual adaptation period, but visual test stimuli are affected by the visual adaptation period.
The researchers found that if the length of the test stimulation was similar to the duration of the adaptation stimulus, the activity of the upper and lower neuteral regions would be reduced, in other words, the neurons in that area were less excitable than the first “contact” of the gray circle.
“The idea is that these repetitive fatigue neurons are very sensitive to time continuity, but other neurons are also active for certain persistent events,” said Masamichi Hayashi, a cognitive neuroscientist at the Center for Information and Neural Networks at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communication Technology. “
He also points out that differences in brain activity levels distort the tester’s perception of time, and that testers overestimate time if they are exposed to stimuli for longer than the brain adapts, and underestimate time if they are exposed to stimuli for less time than the brain adapts.
This may distort our sense of time in the real world, for example, that the audience at a piano concert may adapt to the rhythm of the music, says Masamichi Hayashi. But we can’t say that neuron fatigue ‘distorts’ the brain’s sense of time, because our study only shows a link between neuron fatigue and subjective time warp, and our next step will focus on causation. “
Masamichi Hayashi says it may also be that there are multiple mechanisms in the brain that play a role in forming a single perception of time, such as that our perception of time may be closely related to our expectations, may be related to chemicals in the brain, or even to the speed at which brain cells activate each other and form networks when performing an activity, and solving this problem will be an important direction for future research. (Ye Tingcheng)