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It's Spring Spring Physics explains why time goes by as we age

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A Duke University researcher has a new explanation for why these endless days of childhood seem to last so much longer than they do now – physics.

According to Adrian Bejan, J.A. Jones, a professor of mechanical engineering at Duke, believes that this apparent temporal discrepancy can be traced to the slower pace at which images of the human brain are preserved and processed as the body ages.

The theory was published online on March 1

8, Journal European Review .

"People are often amazed at how much they remember days that seemed to last forever in their youth," Bejan said. "It's not that their experiences were much deeper or more meaningful, it's just that they were processed in a quick fire."

Bejan attributes this phenomenon to physical changes in the aging human body. As tangled nets of nerves and neurons mature, they grow in size and complexity, resulting in longer ways in which signals are traversed. As these pathways begin to age, they also decrease, giving more resistance to the flow of electrical signals.

These phenomena cause the rate at which new mental images are captured and processed to decrease with age. This is reflected in how often the eyes of infants move in relation to adults, Bejan noted, because infants process images faster than adults, move their eyes more frequently, and receive and integrate more information.

The bottom line is that the elderly are there you see fewer new pictures in the same actual time, it seems to them as if time passes faster.

  It's spring already? Physics Explains Why Time Flies As We Age
Adrian Bejan, J.A. Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Duke University Credit: Duke University

"The human mind feels how time changes when the perceived images change," Bejan said. "The present is different from the past because spiritual reflection has changed, not because someone's clock is ringing." The days seemed to take longer in your youth, because the young spirit receives more pictures in one day than the same spirit in old age. "

Further information :
Adrian Bejan, Why the days get shorter and shorter, the older we get, European Review (2019). DOI: 10.1017 / S1062798718000741

Provided by
Duke University

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