Brain
Wikimedia commons

The human brain is a highly complicated organ, and its functioning plays a crucial role in the life of every individual. Now, a new study has unveiled the role of the brain in perceiving time. On busy days, humans usually feel that the time is not moving, but when someone is engaged in recreational activities, time will fly quickly. According to the new study, some neurons in the human brain can be attributed to this effect.

Neurons Play the Trick

According to the new study report published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the subjective nature of time perceived by humans in different scenarios is mediated by the responses from a group of neurons in the brain, where different subgroups of neurons are suited to different durations or units of time.

The mechanism behind this phenomenon in the human brain is quite interesting. These specialized neurons in the brain's supramarginal gyrus (SMG) fire up in response to the passage of a specific length of time. As they get repeatedly exposed to a stimulus for a particular duration, they will get fatigued.

At the same time, other neurons in the human brain will continue working normally, and as a result, there arises a contrast in characteristics between these neurons. According to the research report, this contrast between fatigued and active neurons in the SMG is resulting in the variance in perception of time at different occasions.

"Duration tuning modulation, manifest as an attenuated BOLD response to stimuli similar in duration to the adaptor, was only observed in the right supramarginal gyrus (SMG) of the parietal lobe and middle occipital gyrus, bilaterally. Across individuals, the magnitude of the behavioral aftereffect was positively correlated with the magnitude of duration tuning modulation in SMG. These results indicate that duration-tuned neural populations in the right SMG reflect the subjective experience of time," wrote the researchers in their study report.

How Coronavirus Affects Human Brain?

This new study report about the uniqueness of the human brain comes at a time when the entire planet is busy containing the coronavirus pandemic. A few weeks back, another study report had suggested that the coronavirus is capable of penetrating the human brain too.

Scientists made this conclusion after noticing unusual issues like headaches, confusion, and delirium among coronavirus patients. Scientists who took part in this study also warned that coronavirus patients may face lethal consequences if the brain gets affected.