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It slows down time.

[W]arping of time apparently does not result from the brain speeding up from adrenaline when in danger. Instead, this feeling seems to be an illusion, scientists now find.

We feel time moving slower when we are in danger or experiencing novel stimuli because of a trick played by the brain’s memory centers.

Instead, such time warping seems to be a trick played by one’s memory. When a person is scared, a brain area called the amygdala becomes more active, laying down an extra set of memories that go along with those normally taken care of by other parts of the brain.

“In this way, frightening events are associated with richer and denser memories,” Eagleman explained. “And the more memory you have of an event, the longer you believe it took.”

Eagleman added this illusion “is related to the phenomenon that time seems to speed up as you grow older. When you’re a child, you lay down rich memories for all your experiences; when you’re older, you’ve seen it all before and lay down fewer memories. Therefore, when a child looks back at the end of a summer, it seems to have lasted forever; adults think it zoomed by.”

I have very distinct memories of sitting in my ninth grade German class watching the second hand on the big white clock over the chalkboard tick by endlessly on its countdown to the 3 PM closing bell. Those last three seconds seemed to hang on for an eternity. Today I can sit at my desk, look at the computer clock, look at it again, and be amazed (and depressed) that an hour flew by. According to this study, I perceive time moving faster than it used to because I am no longer getting enough new experiences in my life like I did as a child. To remedy this I will actively pursue harrowing and stimulating adventures, like bungee jumping, worldwide travel, and multitudes of women.

Multitudes of women.  And traveling to unique locales.

Whoever thought that gaming girls in foreign countries could actually lengthen your lifespan? Science says it is so.


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