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Medical Time Perception - YES, IT IS SUBJECTIVE

  1. Jun 26, 2006 #1


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    Essentially, research is now showing that time IS a subjective thing. For example, there is the often held notion that time passes faster as you grow older. Scientific experiments actually seem to be showing that hypothesis to be partially true, in part due to declining dopamine levels in certain regions of the brain. I'll post links in the next post.
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  3. Jun 26, 2006 #2


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    ADD and Time Perception:

    Time perception: does it distinguish ADHD and RD children in a clinical sample?


    Ritalin on Time Perception:


    And some other links (not add related):


    Scientists have this productivity thing all figured out. Just slow down your internal clock to allow more information to be absorbed in the same amount of real time, get your work done in this hyper-state, then turn the clock back to normal and go home:


    Discover Magazine on this

    http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/...ion_of_tim e/






  4. Jun 29, 2006 #3
    You've posted a lot of links. Is there anything in any of them about certain drugs being able to change one's perception of time? I've read that some drugs seem to make the external world to be running much faster or slower while the person feels he, himself, is running at a normal pace. This leads me to believe there is some specific part of the brain responsible for regulating our perception of the passage of time that is affected by these drugs. However, it could be a function that is scattered throughout many parts of the brain. I haven't happened on any information about how the brain processes the passage of time.
  5. Jun 29, 2006 #4


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    Yes, I think stimulants and marijuana do alter it. so does lsd
  6. Jun 29, 2006 #5


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    Yay for Britannica!

    from time perception

    Physiological effects: drugs
    The precision with which time is perceived has not been found to be related to heart rate or to electroencephalographic data. It has been shown, however, that perception of time as in clapping or counting accelerates or decelerates with the rise and fall of body temperature. The precise metabolic basis for such temperature effects awaits further study.

    Ethical considerations sharply limit the dosage level of drugs employed for experiments on human beings. Understanding of the interactions between drug effects and personality traits in studies of time estimation is, therefore, quite incomplete. Within the dosage ranges investigated, however, stimulating drugs (e.g., thyroxine, caffeine, amphetamines) produce overestimates of duration, while depressants and anesthetics (e.g., barbiturates, nitrous oxide) promote underestimates. Under the influence of hallucinogens (e.g., marijuana, mescaline, LSD), subjects tend to estimate absolute duration as very long. In addition, a marijuana user may underestimate the speed of a motor vehicle, increasing the chances of accident.
  7. Jul 22, 2006 #6
    Question. Can someone please interpret what exactly this person is saying?

    "Its effect is to permit the brain to seamlessly conduct multiple actions by coordinating thought patterns sequentially in the prefrontal cortex. Under the influence of L-DOPA, a dopamine analogue, Dr Sacks’ patients reported remarkable sensations of the passage of time. One patient, Miss Rose R., who had been in a conscious but almost persistently immobile state for 43 years was able to describe her perception of time upon her ‘awakening’ as a persistent replaying of each moment in her mind as if she were “stuck in the groove of a record”. She understood that time had passed in the 43 years since her youth, but had perceived it as a persistent experience of ‘stuck moments’ in time (Sacks, 1987). Her cognition of the passage of time had been perpetually interrupted for decades, and she recalled events of her youth in the 20s as clearly as if they were the previous week, although she understood and had perceived that a large amount of time had passed in the interval of her illness."

    ...stuck in the groove of a record...wtf?
  8. Jul 22, 2006 #7


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    Sure. The brain is ordinarily is able to coordinate its various modules and agents like the captain of a sports team coordinating the various players on it with their different skills and assignments. To do this coordination it uses some particular module within itself. In the woman's case that part of her brain was dameaged and couldn't function properly so it just ran over some random sequence of events in her life over and over, and that is what she experienced.

    What this case shows strongly is how utterly dependent we are upon functions in our brain of which we have no sensation at all. All our pretty sense of the world is a construction by brain machinery running behind a curtain.
  9. Jul 22, 2006 #8
    The title of this thread is old news and arguably redundant!

    A couple months ago I read a book from the early 70s all about a US Navy study that showed that men and women tend to perceive time differently, probably because of gender roles.
  10. Jul 23, 2006 #9


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    Hi Simfishy,
    Are you thinking that time is only a subjective experience, such as the experience of the color red, or are you simply saying we percieve the passing of time in a subjective way? The two are very different. Saying time is a subjective experience just like the color red is to say time doesn't really exist. Saying we have a subjective perception of time says that time exists but our perception of it may vary depending on various circumstances.
  11. Jul 23, 2006 #10
    Probably adriniline (sp) in the fight-or-flight reaction does alter preception.

  12. Jul 23, 2006 #11
    Of course time (in the case of experiance) is subjective, when you're having fun time always "flys" and when you're bored it always seems like it is taking longer. But apart from that time itself doesn't actually go faster or slower during the experiance.
  13. Jul 25, 2006 #12


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    It actually goes beyond psychology too.

    Even in the universe, time is not absolute. Most physics-types know that as you travel faster through space, you seem to travel slower through the time dimension.

    Also, (uncited) I remember hearing of two planes that were fitted with atomic clocks and flown around the world opposite directions, and returned showing different times.
  14. Jul 25, 2006 #13
    Simple relativity states that time changes the faster you move, but in the situation presented deals with conscient recognition of time.
  15. Jul 28, 2006 #14


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    I was notified to verify this. This is incorrect and a common fallacy regarding time dilation.

    All of us on earth is moving "faster" through space according to an observer on another galaxy somewhere. Do you see your time being "slower"?

    Special relativity doesn't work this way! Time dilation for 2 moving inertial frames only occurs when one observer views the clock in the OTHER reference frame, not his/her own frame.

    I strongly suggest reading this thread, including the errors that have been pointed out starting in message #23.


    I would suggest one be very careful in applying physics concepts into realm that it shouldn't be used, especially when it is applied in error.

  16. Jul 29, 2006 #15


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    I've read the other thread and looked into my own post and I see my misinterpretation. I'm still trying to grasp it, (i have my modern physics text book out). Let me make sure I know what I said wrong:

    I said that as you travel faster through space you seem to travel slower through time.

    Why is this not equivalent to the twin traveling through space at near-light-speeds. He didn't age as quickly. Isn't that the same as saying he traveled slower through time? It seems to me like a linguistics argument.

    From my modern physics book on the twin paradox:

    "While it is possible to disagree over whose clocks are running slow relative to his or her own, which is merely a problem of frames of reference, when Aemilia returns to Earth (or when the Earth returns to Amelia), all observers must agree as to which twin has aged rapidly."

    I believe this is probably my issue, that I'm taking the fram of reference of a god, trying ot watch both obsevers at once?

    I've hardly touched on relativity, I apologize for my offensive behvarior. I was merely trying to support that 'time is not absolute' beyond the pyschological experience of time. I think the end result of the twin paradox describes it well, I'll try to control my frame of reference.

    insight: Maybe my erros is that I'm trying to make it not a paradox so it's 'easier to visualize'.

    EDIT: Textbook:

    Krane, Kenneth. Modern Physics, second edition. John Wiley & Sons, 1996.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2006
  17. Jul 30, 2006 #16


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    Pythagorean, since the physicists don't necessarily check the Mind & Brain forum too frequently, I suggest you continue any discussion of the physics side of this thread over in the Physics forum where you can get more thorough explanations in a more timely manner (pun not intended).
  18. Aug 1, 2006 #17


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    Yeah, people with adrenaline coursing about their vanes all say that their perception of time was many times slower.

    As for psychoactive drugs changing your perception of time, Wikipedia states that: Altered states of consciousness are sometimes characterised by a different estimation of time. Some psychoactive substances—such as entheogens—may also dramatically alter a person's temporal judgement.
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