Though our perception of time can be stunningly precise it can also be curiously plastic. Some moments seem to last longer than others, and scientists don’t know why. Unlike our other senses, our perception of time has no defined location in our brain, making it difficult to understand and study.
But now researchers have found hints that our sense of time stems from specialized units in our brain, channels of neurons tuned to signals of certain time lengths. The workings of the brain are far from simple, however, and the channel-based model doesn’t explain why, for example, time seems to pass more slowly when we are in a life threatening situation like falling off a roof or a car crash.
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