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Trends Cogn Sci. 2007 Dec;11(12):504-13. Epub 2007 Nov 26.

How emotions colour our perception of time.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale et Cognitive, CNRS (UMR 6024), Universit√© Blaise Pascal, 34 Avenue Carnot, 63037, Clermont-Ferrand, France. Sylvie.droit-volet@univ-bpclermont.fr

Abstract

Our sense of time is altered by our emotions to such an extent that time seems to fly when we are having fun and drags when we are bored. Recent studies using standardized emotional material provide a unique opportunity for understanding the neurocognitive mechanisms that underlie the effects of emotion on timing and time perception in the milliseconds-to-hours range. We outline how these new findings can be explained within the framework of internal-clock models and describe how emotional arousal and valence interact to produce both increases and decreases in attentional time sharing and clock speed. The study of time and emotion is at a crossroads, and we outline possible examples for future directions.

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