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Explain like I'm 5 – After glancing at a clock, why does the first second sometimes feel longer than the rest? [closed]

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Closed as off topic by Mithrandir24601‭ on Feb 18, 2021 at 14:09

This question is not within the scope of Physics.

This question was closed; new answers can no longer be added. Users with the reopen privilege may vote to reopen this question if it has been improved or closed incorrectly.

I don't understand either of these Reddit comments that are still too complicated. Please simplify? Alfenhose

An interesting phenomena, it is because the brain doesn't store what you saw during the time your eye spent moving, instead the brain fills in this time with what you saw when you stopped moving your eye.

Wikipedia has an article on chronostasis and the stopped clock illusion if you want to read about it.

Gnonthgol

When you move your eye or blink the images from your eyes are just blurry or dark and therefore quite useless for your brain to interpret. So the brain use the information from the view before and after the eye movement to fill in the blanks. So if you move your eye to the clock as the second hand is moving your brain does not see the second hand moving and interprets it as if it have been standing still during the entire time you moved your eye. So the first second looks longer because your brain makes the wrong assumption.

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2 comments

I'm not sure how this is a physics question. The matter of perception of the passage of time seems to me to be more along the lines of psychology than physics, as the passage of time itself doesn't change, nor the rate of change on a clock; only your perception of the passage of time might change. Canina‭ 13 days ago

It is only Physics as one step in XKCD manassehkatz‭ 12 days ago

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