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Royston

A fly's perception of time.

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Well that's a very constructive and thought provoking addition to the debate, a round of applause for Icheb.

 

I feel stupid asking, was that question sarcastic or what you where actualy saying?

 

on a much more relivent note

 

I had never thought about how our eyes/Brain distorts time, does anyone know how long it takes our eyes to refocus does it always take the same amount of time? are there any other examples of times when our brains distrort time. (its intresting to to note if we are talking about our eyes only it isnt realy distroring our sence of time, becouse we do have other sences it is only distroting our ability to see things in real time isnt it)

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I bet you didn't know that your brain slows down your perception of time every time you move your eyes to refocus on something. In reality, your eyesight is blurry while the lenses in your eye refocus, but you brain doesn't want your conscious mind to perceive this so it holds on to the moment before you moved your eyes and drags it into the space of time when your eyes are refocussing. When the image is clear once more, it snaps back to "real" time.

This sounds very interesting if it is accurate. Where did you learn about this and is there an article on it somewhere?

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I had a strange experience once with relative temporal perception, where my conciousness was 5 seconds ahead in the future, and when the present caught up with my mind there was a kind of feedback loop (like a flash of migrane) as my consiousness was shunted forward another 5 seconds into the future.

 

Of course this was when I was at a party and someone spiked my drink with something. An experience I'd never want to repeat...

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I had a strange experience once with relative temporal perception' date=' where my conciousness was 5 seconds ahead in the future, and when the present caught up with my mind there was a kind of feedback loop (like a flash of migrane) as my consiousness was shunted forward another 5 seconds into the future.

 

Of course this was when I was at a party and someone spiked my drink with something. An experience I'd never want to repeat...[/quote']

 

You may not believe this, and I'm certainly not posting this to question that disorder is not growing in the universe, as this was a purely subjective experience. However when I was at a party..ahem, I was concentrating on how everything was reacting against everything else to create 'present'...man, kind of like the butterfly effect. Then I was looking at a broken glass, and somehow all the pieces gathered themselves and leapt back on the table. I then seemed to appear at random points of time at the party, I would be upstairs listening to some music which I was doing 5 minutes ago, and then I'd find myself downstairs in the middle of a chess game which I found out I was going to be talked into later on...there was no conscious decision to play chess.

 

Needless to say the glass was still shattered on the floor the next morning. I believe I lost or gave up half way through the chess game (obviously irrelevant.) I found the whole experience fascinating...the few friends I told found it worrying, in regards to my health, but I think my point is that you can experience temporary time distortion to the extreme but it's not going to make any difference to the 'arrow of time' it's all purely how you're brain is processing the information.

 

I hope my future posts aren't going to be met with more dubiousness after telling you this experience.

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I feel stupid asking' date=' was that question sarcastic or what you where actualy saying?

[/quote']

 

With all due respect semag68, that was blatant sarcasm, and not actually a question...just so you know.

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I suppose I could be missing out on something important here, but it seems to me that there is very little science in this thread. Fly's perceiving time faster or slower than humans? It seems rediculous to me. I suspect that our perception of how "fast" time is is dependent upon factors such as mood (are we happy where we are, or are we busy anticipating some future event ... and eager for time to "move faster") and reaction times. An event would appear to be "fast" if we do not have time to react - our reaction times are determined by various pathway lengths ... the distance chemicals and light and such have to travel to make the machinary of our brains get to the stage in response where the chemical signals to respond are sent out. That response may be physical, as in a movement, or emotional ... or otherwise. But ultimately our perception of time is hardly fixed, it is relative to so many factors.

It seems silly to me to compare our perception of time with a fly's - fly's cannot respond in the ways that we can respond, they cannot (presumably) contemplate events like we can, they cannot (presumably) perceive events as being linear in "time," they cannot (presumably) predict the future. Fly's almost certainly do not "perceive time" in any way that resembles the intellectual concept of time that is being bandied about on this thread - they, like us, are just machines, and in the case of a fly, I'd say it's fairly likely that the closest thing they have to "perception of time" is very, very basic, and limited to action-reaction.

If you swat at a fly and miss, will the fly think ... "gee, that human's hand moved slow! ...? Or will the fly just do whatever it was doing, respond however it is able, and not "think" at all, in any sense of the word as we humans use it. I suspect the latter. Therefor perception of time is irrelevant.

 

Furthermore, to clarify something about relatively -

The Theory of Relativity should not come up in a discussion of perception of time rates unless you talk about the movement of light. The theory states that light must move at the same rate (distance per time) and that for objects moving faster than others, the curvature of space and time allow for that object (that is moving faster than another) to exist in a "slow" bubble in time - by slowing it's time factor down, light is able to hit it at the same speed it hits everything else. So relatively only affects perception of time if a creature is physically MOVING faster, and the differences in speed that you will see between a fly and a person will not allow for significant (I suspect) dilation of time.

 

If you want to talk about time being perceived at different rates, talk about objects or people moving at vastly different rates, or talk about different people with significantly different intellectual abilities ... then you'll have something.

 

That's my perspective on this strange thread.

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I bet you didn't know that your brain slows down your perception of time every time you move your eyes to refocus on something. In reality' date=' your eyesight is blurry while the lenses in your eye refocus, but you brain doesn't want your conscious mind to perceive this so it holds on to the moment before you moved your eyes and drags it into the space of time when your eyes are refocussing. When the image is clear once more, it snaps back to "real" time.[/quote'']This sounds very interesting if it is accurate. Where did you learn about this and is there an article on it somewhere?

 

I read it in the wonderfully informative and thought-provoking book The Science of Harry Potter. In this book, the author gives examples of amazing technologies and odd facts that could give the results of the apparent "magic" in the Harry Potter books. I don't know if you would be able to find an article on it.

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I couldn't figure out whether that was in agreement or disagreement?

 

It would appear slower to the fly' date=' but according to the Universe a second is still the amount of time that would have elapsed.[/quote']

 

 

Yes, but I think the point a few people are trying to make is why use our "second" as the measure of time that has elapsed. It's a second to us, but not to the fly.

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I suppose I could be missing out on something important here, but it seems to me that there is very little science in this thread.

 

Too True MattC, Biology never was a real science anyway :D

 

Speaking of science heres an experiment that shows just how easily you brain can fool your eyes, and the best part is that all you kids can do at home.

 

Ingredients: 1 pen, sheet of blank paper.

 

Method:

Draw a small cross and circular dot on the paper separated by about 15cm (6 inches if you live in the US). Hold the paper in both hands at arms length with the cross on the left. With you left eye closed SLOWLY bring the paper towards your face, focusing on the cross with your right eye. Keep you right eye on the cross, but pay attention to the dot as you slowly move the paper towards your face. Something strange should happen at about 30cm (1 foot) from your face.

 

This is an example of our perception of the world being different from the actual physical world around us.

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