Humans tend to literally sway backward or forward when thinking of the past or future respectively, a new Scottish research has found.
Psychological scientists from the University of Aberdeen - Lynden Miles, Louise Nind and Neil Macrae - tried to find how the human perceptions of space and time are coupled and reflected in our movement.
Volunteers were fitted with a motion sensor as they imagined either future or past events. It was seen that thinking about past or future events can literally move us.
Chronesthesia or mental time travel resulted in metaphorical direction of time. Those thinking of the past swayed backward while those thinking about the future moved forward.
According to Miles and colleagues: "The embodiment of time and space yields an overt behavioral marker of an otherwise invisible mental operation," explains Miles and colleagues.
Their findings have appeared online in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.