Further, most of the review will focus on the contributions of episodic memory—memory for specific happenings in one’s personal past ( Tulving, 1983, 2002a)—but we will conclude INCB018424 supplier by discussing the contribution of semantic memory (i.e., general knowledge) to imagination and
future thinking. As noted earlier, one of the findings responsible for the upsurge of interest in the relation between remembering the past and imagining the future comes from functional neuroimaging studies that revealed activation of a common brain network during these two forms of mental activity. On the basis of this observation, Okuda et al. (2003) concluded that “thinking of the future is closely related to retrospective memory” (p. 1369); Addis et al. (2007, p. 1363) stated that “this striking neural overlap… confirms that the episodic system contributes importantly to imagining the future”; and Szpunar et al. (2007, p.642) observed that “our results offer insight into the fundamental
and little-studied capacity of vivid mental projection of oneself in the future. These conclusions seem straightforward Anti-diabetic Compound Library price enough given that overlap in brain activity was observed when people remembered past events or imagined future events. And those conclusions fit nicely with the idea that the ability to project oneself into the past and future reflects a capacity for “mental time travel” (Suddendorf and Corballis, 1997, 2007; Tulving, 1983, 2002a, 2005). However, as noted by Addis et al. (2009a), the distinction between “past events” and “future events” in these studies is confounded Cell press with the distinction between “remembering” and “imagining.” While remembered events must refer to the past, activity attributed to “future events” could just as well be attributed to “imagined events,” irrespective of whether those events refer to the future, the past, or the present (Hassabis and Maguire, 2009). These considerations
raise the question of whether experiments that examine the relation between remembering the past and imagining the future specifically inform our understanding of the relation between past and future, as claimed in the aforementioned studies, or whether they bear on our understanding of the relation between memory and imagination, irrespective of the involvement of mental time travel. Several kinds of observations favor a nontemporal perspective. For example, Buckner and Carroll (2007) pointed out that activation of default network regions is observed not only when individuals remember the past and imagine the future, but also when they engage in related forms of mental simulation that involve taking the perspective of others (without an explicit requirement for mental time travel), and also during spatial navigation (see Spreng et al., 2009). Similarly, Hassabis et al.