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Adrian Bejan, a mechanical engineer at Duke University, suggests “The human mind senses time changing when the perceived images change,” says Bejan. “The present is different from the past because the mental viewing has changed, not because somebody’s clock rings.  Days seemed to last longer in your youth because the young mind receives more images during one day than the same mind in old age.”

“Bejan’s proposal is undeniably compelling, presenting a neurological mechanism that could reasonably explain the subjective perception of time speeding up with age. However, this purely physical mechanism doesn’t entirely explain the seemingly consistent and exponential increase in the speed of time passing from year to year as we get older.

“The logarithmic hypothesis fills this gap, suggesting time perception is relative to the proportion of time we have lived. So proportionally, a year to a 10 year old feels much longer than a year to a 50 year old.  As Christian Yates, a mathematical biologist from the University of Bath, explains, the perceived experience of time from the age of 10 to 20 is the same proportionally as from 40 to 80.”


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