Young children are thought to have a faster rate of perception due to a higher metabolic rate. This is perhaps due to a ravenous brain which needs lots of energy to develop in a procees known as competitive plasticity. In researching these stress disorders, one might expect to find a high metabolic rate was also associated with them, but this however, is not quite the case. What has turned up has been far more intriguing. A theme that runs throughout all these disorders, is a problem with the inner ear, also known as the vestibular system. Vestibular disorders are already officially recognised as being associated with stress disorders, and below I have included a few examples:
"Vestibular (inner ear) disorders can cause dizziness, vertigo, imbalance,hearing changes, nausea, fatigue, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and other symptoms, with potentially devastating effects on a person's day-to-day functioning, ability to work, relationships with family and friends, and quality of life.http://www.vestibular.org/"
"Vestibular deficits and increased neuro-hypersensitivities (sensory overload disorder) follow a variety of neuro-pathological changes in the brain, including, migraine, autism, ADHD, post TBI, hydrocephalus, PTSD, and others." http://www.diaceph.com/NeuroCompensStudy.htm
"A total of 82 schizophrenic patients participated in this study from Takeda Hospital in Sapporo And Jimmiekai Hospital in Nishinomiya. As the results of this study, 72 out of 82 patients show the abnormal degree of vestibular reactivity, which indicates highly possible involvement of vestibular system in schizophrenia. " http://www.lib.kobe-u.ac.jp/repository/80070363.pdf
The vestibular system's association with stress disorders perhaps signifies it is part of a survival mechanism designed to get an animal out of sudden danger. A neat trick of nature is to speed up the rate of perception, so that reality 'slows down', and in so doing, it gives an animal time to think about its escape plan. War veterans often speak of a similar experience at times when their lives are in jeopardy. Is the emergence of a stress disorder where the vestibular system fails to de-activate, or slow down, once a danger has passed?
Kids with ADHD use a trick to stimulate the vestibular system ( and speeding up the rate of perception), by becoming more active. I'll quote from an article by The Spectrum Center in Bethesda MD, a treatment centre for children with ADHD: "...Problems arise with ADHD where the vestibular system of the inner ear.....is unable to provide the brain with the sensory stimulation it needs in order to function optimally. In response, the body finds other ways of stimulating the vestible and brain, such as constant body movement. This response would be diagnosed as hyperactivity." http://spectrumcenter.net/addadhd.html Quite bizarrely, there's an example in nature where this behaviour is also mirrored - the territorial displays of the anole lizard.
For those us that are interested in the mystical, the word for otolith is derived from the Greek oto - meaning 'ear', and lithos - meaning 'stone', or 'earstone'. If we are able to manipulate the rate of perception and bend the rules of time, we have a very realistic opportunity to create the elixir of life. Is the otolith the well sought after Philosopher's Stone?
I would like to thank all my sources, and a further mention for: