Friday, February 5

YEAR:  2021 | Tags:  | | | |

The long path, 8:45


As I walk I listen to the latest episode of Rutherford & Fry which deals with our perceptions of time. It proves extremely interesting. They have four experts, and among them:

Professor David Eagleman, from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, conducted a very famous experiment on time dilation, to see whether time slows down when you are very frightened. He wanted to see whether people actually have increased time resolution during a terrifying moment, and tested whether his students actually see in slow motion when they leapt off a tall building (in a safe manner).

It turns out that the brain does not perceive things faster, but rather uses a different mode of perception which stores more detail more frequently. When you play the memories back in the usual manner you have more of them and therefore they give the impression that time slowed down.

As I listen to this I pass a waste bin and almost get knocked over by a cyclist speeding silently along the ice.

Later I will replay my memories of the incident and decide that “ten metres away from me when I saw him” does not really count as “almost”.