Visual processing acceleration

Visual processing acceleration increases the speed at which a person can perceive and interpret rapidly occurring events. It is most commonly experienced during events that are felt to be either dangerous, intense, or highly novel. [1] [2] [3] [4] The effect gives the appearance that the external environment is being viewed in slow motion and that brief moments of time have been "stretched out". For example, fast-moving objects such as birds, insects, and cars may begin to present themselves as clearly viewable instead of fleeting blurs of motion, as they may during everyday sobriety.

In terms of its intensity, this effect usually manifests subtly, only slightly slowing down a person's perception of motion. However, in rare cases, this effect can temporarily slow the visual perception of time to a near stand-still, causing events to appear dramatically slower.

Visual processing acceleration is often accompanied by other coinciding effects, such as visual acuity enhancement and thought acceleration. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.


  1. Time Really Does Seem to Slow Down for Athletes (Gizmodo) | |
  2. Wittmann, M., Leland, D. S., Churan, J., & Paulus, M. P. (2007). Impaired time perception and motor timing in stimulant-dependent subjects. Drug and alcohol dependence, 90(2-3), 183-192. |
  3. Arstila, V. (2012). Time slows down during accidents. Frontiers in psychology, 3, 196. |
  4. Stetson, C., Fiesta, M. P., & Eagleman, D. M. (2007). Does time really slow down during a frightening event?. PloS one, 2(12), e1295. |




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