How long is a minute?

A rad wolf

We don’t have a sensory organ dedicated to the tracking of time, so how do we feel that time is passing?

The Perception Census is one of the largest scientific studies on perception ever undertaken – exploring how our experiences of the world differ for each of us.  It’s broken down into sections, and we’re going to explore each of them in this series of blog posts. Previously, we asked whether colour really exists in a deep dive into the section ‘Colour’.

We might look at a clock to tell how much time has gone by, but even without a clock we usually have a sense of how much time has passed. However, the duration of time that we experience is not always the same as ‘clock time’.

‘Time’ is a fascinating section of The Perception Census. The experiments in this section will explore how you perceive the passing of time – and how your ‘inner time’ compares to the ticking of a clock.

Sometimes subjective time seems longer (a watched pot never boils), and sometimes shorter (time flies when you’re having fun).

Your experience of time passing may be different from someone else’s experience, depending on what you enjoy, your level of focus, and other factors such as the emotions you’re feeling at that time.

Exactly how the brain creates our conscious experience of time is still an open question. 

Take part now.

More about The Perception Census:

Learn about the potential of your mind in fun bite-size chunks – a series of games, illusions, brain teasers and mental challenges that investigate different aspects of how you experience the world, teaching you about your powers of perception as you go.

The findings will help scientists and philosophers understand the unique ways in which we each experience the world around us – and the more people who participate, the more useful the research will become. 


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