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What makes time fly?

August 8th, 2012

Joseph Magliano

You’ve been immersed in a project when you notice your stomach growling. You glance at a clock and realize you’ve missed breakfast—and lunch. Where did the time go?

According to a study published in the journal Acta Psychologica, NIU researchers Joseph Magliano, a professor of psychology, and James Woehrle, his doctoral assistant, have determined that the time-flies phenomenon has to do with an individual’s working-memory capacity.

“Individuals with high working-memory capacity devote so much of their attention to a task at hand that they lose track of their internal clocks,” says Magliano. “When fully focused,” he continues, “time flies.”

Read more about how an individual’s attention span warps time