The Stopped Clock Illusion [Video]

Chronostasis (from Greek ??????, chrónos, “time” and ?????? “standing”) is the illusion in which the first impression following a saccade (quick eye movement) appears to be extended in time. The most well-known version of this illusion is the stopped-clock illusion, where the first movement of the second hand of an analog clock, following the viewer’s directing attention to the clock, appears to take longer than the next movement.

When eyes execute a saccade, perception of time stretches slightly backward. The viewer’s brain registers that they have been looking at the clock for slightly longer than they really have, producing the illusion that the second-hand is frozen for more than a second. Although this happens every time the eyes move from one fixation point to the next, it is rarely noticed. One explanation is that the brain is filling in the gap while the eyes move from looking at one thing to the next. [Source]


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