Assessment | Biopsychology | Comparative | Cognitive | Developmental | Language | Individual differences | Personality | Philosophy | Social |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |

Cognitive Psychology: Attention · Decision making · Learning · Judgement · Memory · Motivation · Perception · Reasoning · Thinking  - Cognitive processes Cognition - Outline Index

This article is in need of attention from a psychologist/academic expert on the subject.
Please help recruit one, or improve this page yourself if you are qualified.
This banner appears on articles that are weak and whose contents should be approached with academic caution

Slow motion perception is an aspect of time perception in which things are perceived as moving slowly unlike everyday experience in some special situations like accidents. To a bystander watching this situation such as the accident, time is moving at a normal speed but to the individual in the accident, time seems like it has slowed down and they are able to think and act faster. Recent experiment by David Eagleman, a neuroscientist, investigated this phenomena by making participants of the experiment free fall onto a net to mimic a frightening situation to see how long they think they were experiencing it for. All of the participants estimated a longer time period then the actual length of time it took for them to fall onto the net.[1]

History and IntroductionEdit

There is no reference of slow motion perception in books prior to industrial revolution. After industrial revolution when vehicles for faster transportation made available, people who underwent car accident or motorbike accidents reported that they perceived time slowing down or stretching just before and during accident. For a person standing on road watching the accident, the duration of the accident may be fraction of second but for the person undergoing accident duration of accident can stretch to several seconds.

There is a traditional model tried to explain mechanism of time perception. When there is an accident or unexpected events, the brain concentrates more in information processing and the rate at which it processes it goes up. Since the rate goes up, the brain perceives longer time due to concentrated information in the interval.

However, Terao et al. suggested that the amount of energy expended by neurons decides the duration According to Terao et al., the duration of accident gets longer because neurons exert a lot of energy in short interval.[2]

Neuroscience Behind Slow Motion PerceptionEdit

According to Steve Taylor, who teaches courses on personal development at the University of Manchester, clock time may be about minutes and hours but Real Time is down to how we experience it and it differs from person to person. For instance, during high-stress situations, such as an accident, the brain receives massive amounts of data to process which alters the brain's perception of time. This is believed to be an evolutionary mechanism adapted by the brain to increase human survival rates. Therefore, during an accident a person can react quickly and make a decision in a short period of time.

A recent research model proposes that the perception of space and time undergoes strong distortions during rapid saccadic eye movements.[3]


  1. Bell, V. (2010, August 17). A slow motion mind during extreme danger? . Mind Hacks. Retrieved December 1, 2011, from
  2. David M Eagleman (2008) Current Opinion in Neurobiology 18 (2), pg. 131-136
  3. Cicchini G, Binda P and Morrone M (2009). A model for the distortions of space and time perception during saccadic movement. Front. Syst. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: Computational and systems neuroscience 2009. DOI:10.3389/conf.neuro.06.2009.03.349

External links Edit

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).