Research, Technology

Why time passes differently for children than it does for adults

Surely many noticed that with agethe perception of time changes greatly. For example, in childhood, the day lasts a very long time, and summer generally seems endless. In adults, the day flies by inconspicuously, and after the days, the seasons also quickly replace each other. Of course, adults have more things to do and worries, for which we do not notice how time passes. For example, children's summer vacation lasts three months, and they can afford to relax and do nothing. Adults, in the summer, usually go on a short vacation, for the most part their lifestyle does not change. But, on the other hand, for children, too, the day can be eventful, but this does not make it shorter. From this we can conclude that adults and children simply perceive events differently, and in connection with this, time flows differently.

Children and adults have a different perception of time, which everyone probably noticed on their own.

Do events affect the perception of time?

To find out how events affect perceptiontime at different ages, Hungarian scientists conducted an experiment. They showed two videos to children aged 4 to 10, as well as adults aged 18 and over. Both videos lasted the same time - one minute. In terms of sound and visual style, they were exactly the same, but one video was action-packed, while the other was monotonous.

After all participants in the experimentwatched these videos, they were asked which video was longer. As the researchers report in Scientific Reports, young children found the action-packed video to be longer than the monotonous one. The vast majority of adults, on the contrary, thought that the video with many events was shorter.

Eventful videos seem shorter to adults than monotonous videos

Moreover, according to the results of this experiment,The change in the perception of time occurs at the age of 7. Around this age, monotonous, boring videos began to seem longer to children. Thus, the team confirmed that the perception of events is reflected in the perception of time.

Each of us, whether he is an adult or a child, lives with a delay of 15 seconds. We can say that our brain is a time machine.

How does the human internal clock work?

From the foregoing, two questions arise,why do events affect the perception of time at all, and why does perception change in children at the age of 7? It is believed that certain brain neurons are responsible for the sense of time. But how they work is not known for certain. According to one version, they have a certain rhythm, like a clock.

Special brain neurons are responsible for the sense of time

According to another version, the activity of neuronsgradually decreases over time. In this case, the brain analyzes which neurons are working at a given time, and from them determines how much time has passed since the event to which these neurons responded. However, it is not clear what happens to people at the age of 7, as a result of which the perception of time changes.

Why does perception of time change with age?

It is quite possible that in terms of the work of the "watch"brain neurons in children at the age of 7 do not change at all. Changes occur at the level of psychology. Young children do not know about absolute time, and they do not know how to measure it by the clock. Therefore, they count time according to events. That is, if the child can tell more about the video, it seems to him that this video lasted longer.

After 6-7 years old, children begin to tie their internal clocks to absolute time.

As adults, children learn to tietime to the clock, that is, they learn about time, which flows the same way, regardless of events. Accordingly, all events begin to correlate with this time, then, having matured, people begin to adjust their internal clocks with absolute time. Why, then, does an action-packed video seem shorter to adults?

When we watch an interesting video, we are completelyinfatuated with him. That is, in fact, we abstract from the outside world, forget about our worries, problems, responsibilities, etc. In other words, our connection with absolute time is broken, as a result of which we cease to control it. If, on the contrary, we are waiting for something, for example, a bus or a train, and constantly look at the clock, then time for us goes slower, although in fact it always goes the same way as it went.

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Summarizing all of the above, the difference betweenadults and children is that we measure it differently. But for now, this is just a guess. It is possible that in the future, scientists will be able to give more accurate answers to questions. However, we can already say that time is a relative concept. And from the point of view of quantum physics, it is generally an illusion, as we talked about earlier.