What is the time resolution of our senses? © Getty

What is the time resolution of our senses?

The speed of each sense is fast but some much faster than others.

Asked by: Lillia Nelson (age 10), Hampshire

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When you watch a film, the cinema projects a series of still frames one after the other, but you perceive it as continuous motion because each frame is only shown for about 40 milliseconds.

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In fact, under ideal conditions we can spot a flicker in a light even if it lasts for just 25 milliseconds. Our other senses react at different speeds, though. Hearing is much faster, with a time resolution of just three milliseconds, but touch can only manage 50 milliseconds. Smell and taste are the slowest and can take more than a second to react to a new sensation.

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