(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers have found the reason for the changes in the subjective perception of time. This is due to the fact that the neurons of the supramarginal gyrus, which are responsible for assessing the duration of time intervals, “get tired” and distort perception. The work was published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
The supramarginal gyrus is part of the parietal lobe of the cerebral cortex, it is actively involved in the perception of spoken and written speech, and is also associated with memory, learning, and sensory perception. In addition, the supramarginal gyrus contains neurons that are responsible for assessing the duration of time intervals. Scientists at the University of California at Berkeley have found that repeated exposure to a stimulus of a fixed duration makes these neurons “fatigued,” and this distorts our subjective perception of time.
The researchers asked the participants to complete a task to compare the length of time intervals and at this time measured their brain activity using the method of functional magnetic resonance imaging. The experiment involved healthy adults, they were asked to look at the visual adapter (gray circle) for a certain period of time 30 times in a row.
After a period of adaptation, they were shown a test stimulus and asked to rate its duration. If the duration of the adapter demonstration was long, the participants underestimated the time of the test stimulus, and if the adapter appeared for a short time interval, the duration of the test stimulus was overestimated. The activity of neurons in the supramarginal gyrus decreased when the adapter and the test stimulus were of the same duration, which indicated fatigue of neurons. The degree of distortion of time perception directly depended on how much the activity of the neurons of the supramarginal gyrus decreased.
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