How Your Brain Experiences the Passage of Time

By isolating a group of neurons that influence how the brain experiences time, researchers think it possible that an individual's sense of time could be tweaked by altering neural signals. 

What's the Latest Development?


Scientists have located a specific set of neurons that indicate how time passes, confirming that the brain plays an essential role in how we experience the passage of time. By recording brain activity across 100 neurons in the lateral intraparietal cortex of two rhesus macaques, University of Minnesota researchers were able to examine how brain biology corresponds to an objective measurement of time. Then, by examining the rate of decay of the neural signals, scientists could estimate how much time had objectively past with simple reference to the brain's biology. 

What's the Big Idea?

Results of the study suggest that scientists may one day be able to manipulate how we experience time by affecting the neural connections which indicate its passage in our brains. "As well as indicating that brain circuits may have their own ability to keep time, the results also hint at how our perception of time can be altered during high emotional states. ... 'And in our model, a change in the activity decay rate is all you need to have a different sense of 'what time' it is,' says lead researcher Geoffrey Ghose. It might be possible to tweak an individual's sense of timing by altering these signals, he says.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Keep reading Show less

Study: Taking a break – even for 10 seconds – helps your brain learn

You wouldn't think even a 10-second break would help, but it does.

Mind & Brain
  • A study finds that even short breaks help you solidify new learning.
  • In a way, learning really only happens during your breaks.
  • For the most effective learning sessions, build-in short rest periods.
Keep reading Show less

5 of Albert Einstein's favorite books

Some books had a profound influence on Einstein's thinking and theories.

Getty Images
Culture & Religion
  • Einstein had a large library and was a voracious reader.
  • The famous physicist admitted that some books influenced his thinking.
  • The books he preferred were mostly philosophical and scientific in nature.
Keep reading Show less
Culture & Religion

The concept of access regardless of land ownership is called 'Allemansrätt' - 'everyman's right'.

Keep reading Show less