After 40 days of “time running out”, on Saturday in southwestern France, seven women and men aged 27 to 50 left a cave in the Pyrenees, where they voluntarily detained themselves, AFP journalists observed.
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Members of this dazzling exposure to the sun found daylight at 10:30 a.m. (local time), a little pale, but visually in good shape.
Without a watch, telephone or natural light, the 14 volunteers, led by Franco-Swiss explorer Christian Clott, had to get used to the Lambrives cave in Ariege at 12 degrees and 95% humidity, generating their own electricity through a pedal boat system and drawing water to a depth of 45 meters.
According to the researcher, founder of the Human Adaptation Institute, the experiment, called “Deep Time”, aims to study our capabilities in terms of loss of spatio-temporal milestones, especially with the health crisis.
Although researchers have linked it, the approach has been greeted with skepticism by other scientists, who point out that they lack a sufficiently “rigid” framework.
Etienne Kochlin, director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at Ecole Normal Superior (ENS), a participant in the “Deep Time” research, defends its “innovative” role.
Therefore, data on the cognitive abilities of the brain and participants collected before entering the cave are specifically compared to those collected at the exit to study changes in the nervous system associated with this abnormal environment.
Like other researchers, Pierre-Marie Ledo, director of the Synopsis and Cognition Laboratory at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Perception and Memory Unit at the Institute Pasteur, suggests allowing the “control group” to abstain. The results of people who are locked up to compare with others who are kept outside, which prevents scientific verification of the results.
When they left, the 15 people involved in Operation “Deep Time” were reunited with their loved ones, before a scheduled press conference in the afternoon and a discussion on their experience with journalists.