Hypersensitivity to chronoception

What is chronoception hypersensitivity?

Temporal hypersensitivity, or chronoceptive hypersensitivity, is a high degree of sensitivity to time, i.e. to the passing of the hour, to schedules and to waiting. The person may worry a lot, need a lot of precision in relation to schedules, or have difficulty sleeping. Autistic people have hyper- or hypo-sensitivities more often, but people without any particular developmental diagnosis can also have these conditions.

What is chronoception hypersensitivity?

Chronoceptive hypersensitivity is when a person is excessively sensitive to time. Adherence to strict, precise schedules can take up a lot of space in their lives. Someone living with this condition will find it difficult to wait, and will often be very rigid in their planning and time management. The discomfort they experience is real and can cause suffering.

Why do many autistic people worry so much about the passage of time?

Most autistic people have difficulty dealing with uncertainty and anticipating change. As a result, they have a strong need to plan and anticipate, which can lead to anxiety and pressure related to time, schedules and deadlines.

Symptoms of time hypersensitivity

Waiting makes me so anxious that I get dizzy and sick to my stomach. Since the advent of smartphones, even if I have 30 seconds to wait, I keep busy, which means I can put less pressure on those around me. On the other hand, my obsession with time makes me more efficient at work.

Consequences of hypersensitivity to chronoception

The great anxiety generated by hypersensitivity to the passage of time can lead to a number of problems


It's important to remember that the person is not imposing their worry on purpose or to hurt others. Although having an extremely time-sensitive loved one can affect relationships with those around you, it's more constructive to find compromises to make everyone more comfortable.


Camille's teacher mentions that the exam will last 30 minutes. At the exact second marking the end of the thirty minutes, Camille raises her hand to stop the exam. Camille's classmates are displeased.

What are some solutions and strategies for chronoception hypersensitivity?


Meck, W. H. (2000). Neural basis of temporal processing. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 23(1), 167-180.

Wearden, J. H., & Barakat, S. (2017). The perception and measurement of time: How does the brain keep time?. European Journal of Neuroscience, 45(12), 1489-1498.

Valérie Jessica Laporte