Anomalies in time perception as we age may relate to a number of necessary cognitive processes, including how much attention we can devote to a particular task and how effectively we can divide our attention between several ongoing tasks at once. Our efficiency in these domains gradually dampens as we age and may influence the subjective perception of time.
Perhaps more importantly, our frame of reference for the duration of events also changes as we age. Memories we have stored throughout our lives allow us to create a personal timeline. There’s a suggestion that our perception of time may be in proportion to the length of our lifespan. Known as the “proportional theory”, this idea posits that as we age, our sense of “present” time begins to feel relatively short in comparison to our entire lifespan.
Improving attention and memory can help fine-tune our internal pacemakers and bring the river of time to a slow meander.
Muireann Irish e Claire O'Callaghan