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On Your Marks

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Press a button as soon as you see it light up.

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After 10 seconds, you will see your average reaction time. See if you can improve your original score.
Solution

What's happening?

Reveal

Did you notice that after a light comes on, it takes a little while before you can hit the right button? That’s because when we first see the light, our brain needs to process what is happening before it can send a message to your arm to reach out and hit the correct button. We call this our reaction time. We may not realise it but our brain is doing this constantly: each time we hear our alarm clock ring, smell something delicious cooking or even hear someone cough, our brain has to recognise that signal and respond.

Try this

Try this

Test your reaction time at home.

In record time

In the world of competitive sport, reaction times can make the difference between taking home the gold medal and being left off the podium. At the Olympics, precise timekeeping technology is used rather than depending on less accurate human reaction times.

Old versus Young

Learn how aging can affect our reaction times.

Exhibits like this

Nearby exhibits

Look Closer

Welcome to Look Closer, Techniquest's brand new digital tool. We're trialling Look Closer as a way of offering you a closer look at the science demonstrated by many of our exhibits. You'll find visitor sheets, videos, articles on contemporary science as well as fun trails to navigate your way around the exhibition space.

Speak to our Science Communicators to find out more.