Pinpointing the internal clock that helps us mark the passage of time

clock
Image credit: Kolbjørn Skarpnes & Rita Elmkvist Nilsen / NTNU Communication Div. & KISN

Manmade clocks may precisely measure time, but, from a human perspective, the passage of time is remarkably fluid. It drags when you’re doing your taxes but really does fly when you’re having fun. Isolate yourself from any markers of time (night and day, watches or clocks) and you will feel less time has passed than actually has, because under those circumstances, the brain condenses time.

How the brain fixes the timing of the events we experience depends on episodic memory. … Neuroscientists know the brain must have a kind of internal clock or pacemaker to help it track those experiences and record them as memories.

In a new paper in Nature, researchers at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience (KISN) in Norway report that they have pinpointed a collection of interconnected brain cells that provides this clock.

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The results provide strong evidence that the function of this particular network of cells is to timestamp events that we experience and keep track of the order in which they happened, according to [researcher] Edvard Moser. “We have found an area with activity so strongly relating to the time of an event or experience, it may open up a whole new research field,” he said.

Read full, original post: Scientists found brain’s internal clock that influences how we perceive time

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