New study supports claim small animals see in slow motion
Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 00:09
A new study has shown smaller animals are inclined to perceive time as if is passing in slow motion.
The journal, Animal Behavior, argues the slower perception of time in smaller animals is an evolutionary trait to allow them to escape larger predators.
“The ability to perceive time on very small scales may be the difference between life and death for fast-moving organisms such as predators and their prey,” author Kevin Healy said.
Healy said the reverse was found in larger animals.
The BBC compared the study to an athletes’ keen perception of speed during contests and matches.
“In humans, too, there is variation among individuals. Athletes, for example, can often process visual information more quickly. An experienced goalkeeper would therefore be quicker than others in observing where a ball comes from,” BBC reported.
Andrew Jackson, the study’s co-author at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) Ireland, said the research team looked at time perception across a variety of animals. Jackson described the technique, labeled flicker fusion frequency, as a measurement of the speed at which the eye can process light.
The team compared the results and graphed the points and logged datasets from other teams who have incorporated flicker fusion frequency.
According the BBC, the results showed a strong relationship between body size and how quick the eye could respond to changing visual information.
“We are beginning to understand that there is a whole world of detail out there that only some animals can perceive and it's fascinating to think of how they might perceive the world differently to us," Dr. Jackson said.