I knew it? This is how the heartbeat influences the perception of time

The heart and brain are essential for the functioning of the body and life. Necessary for songs and poems, but also for increasingly surprising studies. One of the most recent was held in the United States. There, the researchers concluded that the rhythm of the heartbeat is related to the sensation of the present that people experience.

“It was thought that the experience of time only happened in the brain, but through research we found that the heart has an influence on how the brain works, each beat is used by the brain and conditions that experience of the passage of time,” said Adam K. Anderson, lead researcher, in an interview with La W.

In 2022, almost 42,000 Colombians died from ischemic heart disease.
The heart has an influence on how the brain works. – Photo: Getty Images

In other words, the heart has an influence on how the brain works. In other words, it begins to beat differently and conditions the experience of the passage of time. “Every time the heartbeat occurs, time contracts and expands, the heart ends up being the guardian of time”, added Anderson.

Now, from previous studies, it was known that the brain does influence the heart rate, but now it is discovered how the heart also influences the brain. Both organs are in communication and the beats predict the experience of time. At this point, the researcher clarifies that time is understood as the present moment and not referred to the traditional concept of the passage of minutes and seconds.

“We examined the interaction between fine-grained cardiac dynamics and the momentary experience of subsecond intervals. Participants performed a temporal bisection task for short tones (80–188ms) synchronized with the heart. We developed a cardiac Drift Diffusion Model (cDDM) that incorporated contemporary heart rate dynamics into the temporal decision model. The results revealed the existence of temporal wrinkles—dilation or contraction of short intervals—in synchrony with cardiac dynamics,” they wrote in the study paper.

Experts indicate that a tachycardia is a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute.  Photo: Getty Images.
“Every time the heartbeat occurs, time contracts and expands, the heart ends up being the guardian of time,” said the Cornell University researcher. – Photo: Photo: Getty Images.
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More technically they found that “lower pre-stimulus heart rate was associated with baseline bias in encoding stimulus duration at the millisecond level as longer, consistent with facilitation of sensory intake. At the same time, a higher pre-stimulus heart rate helped lead to more consistent and faster temporal judgments through more efficient evidence accumulation.

In addition, greater poststimulus cardiac deceleration velocity, a bodily marker of attention, was associated with greater accumulation of temporal sensory evidence in the cDDM. These findings suggest a unique role for cardiac dynamics in the momentary experience of time.

Regarding the group studied to reach this conclusion, they reported that it was made up of 45 participants, between 18 and 21 years of age, with no cardiac history, who were connected to meters that calculate the rhythm of the heart.

Sport, health, heart rate, sports watch, jogging, running.  Beats, heart.
The researchers ensured that with a longer beat, there was a longer perception of time and on the contrary, with a shorter beat, there was a shorter perception of time. – Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

“We used our hearts to control the images we showed people, This technique showed us how, after a heartbeat, we ended up experiencing the perception of time… With a longer heartbeat, longer perception of time and vice versa, with a shorter heartbeat, shorter perception of time”, he pointed out.

This finding raises new questions about the relationship between breathing, heart rate and the brain, because from what has been studied, it is known that there is an interesting relationship. Just confirmed the Cornell University professor, there are other researchers are reviewing the issue.

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They also concluded in the text of the study Wrinkles in subsecond time perception are synchronized to the heart that with this new research a new methodological path is opened to find out more about the role of the heart in the perception of time and perceptual judgment.

Finally, another American study, published at the beginning of this month, goes along the lines of the aforementioned research and confirms that the perception of the passage of time can be directly distorted.

“Emotional experiences, particularly arousal, can contract or expand the duration experienced through their interactions with attentional and sensory processing mechanisms,” explained in the publication of the study.

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