A researcher from Duke University has a new explanation of why these endless days of childhood seem to last so much longer than they are now: physics.
According to Adrian Bejan, J.A. Professor Jones of Duke's mechanical engineering, this apparent time gap can be attributed to the ever-slower speed at which images are obtained and processed by the human brain as the body ages.
The theory was published online March 18 in the newspaper European Review.
"People are often amazed at how much they remember days that seemed to last forever in their youth," Bejan said. "It's not that their experiences were much deeper or more significant, but simply that they were dealt with in rapid fire."
Bejan attributes this phenomenon to physical changes in the aging human body. As tangled networks of nerves and neurons mature, their size and complexity grow, leading to longer signal paths. As these paths begin to age, they also degrade, providing increased resistance to the flow of electrical signals.
These phenomena make sure that the rate of acquisition and treatment of new mental images decreases with age. This is evidenced by the frequency with which the eyes of infants move compared to those of adults, said Bejan – because infants process images faster than adults, their eyes move more often, acquiring and incorporating more images. ; information.
The end result being that, as older people display fewer new images in the same amount of time, it seems to them that time passes faster.
"The human spirit feels time change as perceived images change," said Bejan. "The present is different from the past because the mental vision has changed, not because the clock of somebody rings." The days seemed to last longer in your youth because the younger spirit gets more and more. 39 images during a day that the same spirit in old age. "
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