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Name Dropping “The One” but not “Totally Bogus”

David Eagleman’s paper Does Time Really Slow Down during a Frightening Event?” published in PLoS ONE this week picked up quite a bit of news coverage. The paper examined whether immediate danger really can slow down our perceptions of the passing of time (their result, incidentally, was negative, although unsurprisingly, most of the stories chose to highlight the Matrix/Keanu Reeves connections instead). As far as I am aware, no one made the connection that Neo is an anagram of ONE

News coverage:

Other coverage:

  • Slashdot: Can Time Slow Down? There was lots of lively discussion here, some quite tangential to the study itself, but our online community manager, Bora Zivkovic, jumped in and encouraged those with thoughtful comments to make, to do so on the paper itself instead; debate is debate, though.
  • The SciAm Science Talk Podcast on December 12 featured the study as part of the “Totally Bogus” section in which four science news stories are presented and listeners must guess which is “totally bogus”; it was not totally bogus that “research just published on the experience of time passing involved volunteers plummeting ten stories into a net”!

Christopher Kelly’s paper, published in PLoS ONE on December 5, which used fMRI scans to measure the effects of exposure to violent media, was also Slashdotted last week, and was discussed extensively. A link to the paper was posted and we got a lot of traffic from Slashdot; it’s always great to see people checking out the study behind the news story and as the full text of all PLoS articles is freely available online, this is as easy as freeing your mind. One poster claimed that PLoS ONE was not peer-reviewed – at least not in the traditional sense – but we hope we have set the record straight on this. Kelly’s paper was also featured on the Mind Hacks blog in the précis of the week’s mind and brain news, with a link to the article.

The discussion of both papers on PLoS ONE remains very thin on the ground; why not read one of the papers and join the conversation?

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