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Your heartbeat dictates your perception of time

Your heartbeat dictates your perception of time

Right now the brain is keeping track of the passing of time without your awareness, allowing you to focus on better things like reading this story. This process happens automatically, but not continuously. The brain's perception of time can fluctuate. Some moments seem to grow longer or shorter with each passing second.

While these fluctuations may be distortions of reality, technically they are not all in your head. According to a new study, some perceptions of time originate in your heart. "The heartbeat dictates the rhythm on the perception of time" - says the professor of psychology at Cornell University , Adam K. Anderson , also the main author of the study.

“Time is a dimension of the Universe, and an essential basis for our experience of ourselves. Our research shows that this experience synchronizes and changes with the duration of the heartbeat , " he points out .

The new study examined the links between the perception of time and body rhythms, with a focus on natural heart rate fluctuations. While the overall heart rate appears steady , each individual beat may be slightly shorter or longer than the previous one.

Research has shown that heart rate can affect our perception of external stimuli, and it has long been suspected that the heart helps the brain measure time. The researchers recruited 45 students from Cornell University , aged 18-21 years with a normal hearing level and no history of heart disease.

They used electrocardiography (ECG) to monitor the heart's activity with an accuracy of a few milliseconds , connecting the EKG machine to a computer that would record the short sounds caused by the student 's heartbeat .

Each one lasted just 80 to 180 milliseconds , and after hearing one the subjects were asked to report whether they thought it lasted longer or shorter than the other sounds. Subjects perceived beat tones as longer in time when preceded by a shorter in time heartbeat, and reported the tones as shorter when they followed a longer in time heartbeat.

“Rrahjet e zemrës janë një ritëm, të cilin e përdor truri ynë për të na dhënë ndjenjën tonë të kohës që kalon. Dhe ajo nuk është lineare. Por tkurret dhe zgjerohet vazhdimisht”-thotë Anderson. Ndërsa zemra mund të ushtrojë një ndikim të madh në perceptimin e trurit mbi kohën, studiuesit kanë vënë re se ajo është si një rrugë me dy drejtime.

Dëgjimi i një tingulli i nxiti subjektet ta përqendronin vëmendjen e tyre tek ai. Kjo është një ”përgjigje orientuese”, e cila nga ana tjetër ndryshoi rrahjet e tyre të zemrës dhe e ri-rregulloi përvojën e tyre të kohës. Perceptimi i gabuar i kalimit të kohës, mund të duket si një gjë e keqe, dhe ndonjëherë është kështu.

But while losing track of time can cause problems, it can also have adaptive benefits for the kind of temporal fluctuations identified in this study. The heart appears to help the brain work more efficiently even with limited resources, the researchers add, by influencing the way it experiences the passage of time on smaller scales, and by acting on time frames too short for thought. or conscious feelings. / science alert

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