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  • Hello, humans.

  • My name is Matt

  • and for the next several moments,

  • you are going to listen to me.

  • Mwah, ha, ha, ha, ha.

  • Sorry. I'm just joking.

  • This is my normal voice.

  • Have you ever taken direction

  • from a mysterious voice on the computer before?

  • No? Perfect!

  • I want to try an experiment with you,

  • but I can't tell you what that experiment entails

  • because if I do,

  • it won't work.

  • You'll just have to trust me.

  • This will all make sense soon,

  • hopefully.

  • If you're sitting down,

  • stand up from your chair and take a step back.

  • In a moment, I'm going to have you twirl around,

  • so give yourself a bit of space.

  • Need to move some furniture around?

  • Take your time.

  • I'll wait.

  • On the count of three,

  • you're going to start hopping on one foot.

  • Are you ready?

  • One,

  • two,

  • three!

  • Hop,

  • hop,

  • hop,

  • hop,

  • hop.

  • Nice work!

  • OK, while you're still hopping,

  • I now want you to begin barking like a dog.

  • Ruff, ruff;

  • ruff, ruff;

  • ruff, ruff.

  • Wow, that's quite a bark!

  • And a few more.

  • Ruff, ruff, ruff.

  • And three,

  • two,

  • one,

  • stop!

  • Feel free to relax and sit back down.

  • Now, I want you think about how much time passed

  • between the moment I said, "Go!"

  • and you began hopping on one foot

  • to the moment I said, "Stop!"

  • Take a guess.

  • I'm looking for an exact number of seconds or minutes.

  • Now, with a pen and paper, write that number down.

  • All done?

  • The exact time was actually 26 seconds.

  • Did you overestimate?

  • Chances are that you did.

  • So, what was the culprit?

  • The culprit was time perception.

  • Although we can make shockingly precise time estimates,

  • when we experience something new, unusual, or dynamic,

  • like hopping on one foot

  • while taking instructions from a voice on the computer,

  • or, say, jumping out of an airplane,

  • we often miscalculate how much time has passed.

  • Meaning, if you bungee jump for the first time,

  • your fall to the bottom may seem like it lasted for 10 seconds

  • while the recorded time may actually show

  • that the jump only lasted for 5.

  • The reason for this difference is

  • unlike your body's physical drop to the bottom,

  • your brain's perception of time does not follow

  • a straight line between two points.

  • Some scientists even believe

  • your brain follows more of a curved path

  • that is dependent on the amount of information

  • you take in as you fall downwards.

  • For example, David Eagleman,

  • a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine,

  • believes time perception is heavily influenced

  • by the number of memories and data

  • you record onto your brain.

  • When you have a new experience,

  • like jumping off a high dive for the first time,

  • your senses are heightened.

  • You're taking in more details

  • about sights, sounds, and smells

  • than you normally would.

  • And you store more data onto your brain

  • in the form of memories.

  • So, the more data you store in your brain,

  • like the smell of chlorine as you leapt from the high dive

  • or the color of the water,

  • the longer your perception of that experience.

  • Meaning, the number of memories

  • and data you record on your brain

  • has a direct impact on how long

  • you believe that experience to have lasted.

  • Have you ever heard a person recount

  • what it's like to be in a car accident?

  • Although automotive accidents typically last seconds,

  • those involved often say they felt

  • the accident lasted far longer.

  • Time perception can also account for

  • why your childhood may have seem to have lasted forever.

  • By adulthood, a year can slip by in a heartbeat,

  • but children record more data onto their brains.

  • This occurs because many of the experiences

  • we have as children are new and unfamiliar to us.

  • The stack of encoded memories on your brain

  • is so dense that reading them back makes you believe

  • your experiences must have taken forever.

  • Additionally, when you're 5 years old,

  • one year is 1/5 of your life.

  • But, when you're 25, one year makes up 1/25,

  • further altering your perception of time.

  • And, if you're an adult,

  • think about a trip that you may have taken

  • to a far-away land for the first time.

  • Didn't those two weeks you spent exploring your surroundings

  • seem to have lasted far longer than 14 days?

  • Though time perception is rooted

  • in both hard science and theory,

  • it provides a great lesson for us

  • on how to live our lives.

  • I'm sure you have all heard

  • that a person shouldn't sit on a couch

  • and let life pass them by.

  • Well, time perception tells us why that is.

  • If you get up and engage with the world

  • and have new experiences,

  • and maybe even hop around on one foot

  • and bark like a dog,

  • you will literally perceive your own life

  • to have lasted for a longer period of time.

Hello, humans.

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B1 TED-Ed perception lasted hop hop hop hopping

【TED-Ed】An exercise in time perception - Matt Danzico

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    Hung posted on 2014/03/29
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