Sunday, December 16, 2007

Why does time seem to move slower for children?

I recently read an article that I thought I was really interesting. Have you ever wondered why time seemed to move so much slower when you were a child, but seems to speed up as you grow older? Well, there is a proven scientific reason for this phenomenon. When you’re a child, you lay down rich memories for all of your new experiences; when you’re older, you’ve seen it all before, so you lay down fewer memories. And, the more memory you have of an event, the longer you believe it took. Therefore, when a child looks back at the end of a summer, it seems to have lasted forever, while adults think it zoomed by. Isn’t that fascinating?

Similarly, this phenomenon is related to the apparent slowing of time during emergencies. Previously, some thought that the warping of time during emergencies was because a person’s brain sped up from adrenaline when in danger. Studies have proven otherwise. In fact, the warping of time is simply your memory playing tricks on you. When you’re in danger, an area of the brain called the amygdala (which I think sounds like the name of a Star Wars character) becomes more active. When it does so, it lays down an extra set of memories that go along with those normally taken care of by other parts of the brain. Thus, scary events are associated with richer and denser memories that then are perceived as having taken longer.

Info from an article in LiveScience; to read the entire article, click here.

No comments: