Brain disruptions can alter our perception of time. Image Credit: CC 2.0 Andrew Mason
A man who had suffered an aneurysm discovered that he was perceiving the world as if time had stopped.
When struck down with a sudden headache, Simon Baker decided to see if taking a warm shower would help make him feel better.
When the water began to cascade down over him however he noted with puzzlement that the droplets seemed to be moving in slow motion until they had stopped altogether.
"I looked up at the shower head, and it was as if the water droplets had stopped in mid-air," he said. "They came into hard focus rapidly, over the course of a few seconds. It was like a high-speed film, slowed down."
Baker was soon diagnosed as having suffered an aneurysm and as it turns out he was not the only person to have experienced strange temporal anomalies as the result of a medical condition.
Our perception of time, far from being set in stone, is actually something of an illusion that our brain stitches together. Disruptions to the brain such as an epileptic fit or an aneurysm can alter this perception, making it seem as though time has been slowed down, sped up or is even standing still.
Other examples include the case of a 61-year-old woman who reported witnessing her train journey home and the movement of the passengers broken up in to slow motion "freeze frames". In another case a 58-year-old man from Japan found that his perception of people talking didn't match the movements of their lips, making everything seem like a badly dubbed movie.
"The healthy brain reconstructs the experience and glues together the different frames," said brain expert Rufin VanRullen. "But if brain damage destroys the glue, you might only see the snapshots."
Source: BBC.com | Comments (28)
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