Karl K Szpunar

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During the past few years, there has been a dramatic increase in research examining the role of memory in imagination and future thinking. This work has revealed striking similarities between remembering the past and imagining or simulating the future, including the finding that a common brain network underlies both memory and imagination. Here, we discuss(More)
The ability to envision specific future episodes is a ubiquitous mental phenomenon that has seldom been discussed in the neuroscience literature. In this study, subjects underwent functional MRI while using event cues (e.g., Birthday) as a guide to vividly envision a personal future event, remember a personal memory, or imagine an event involving a familiar(More)
  • Karl K Szpunar
  • Perspectives on psychological science : a journal…
  • 2010
The ability to mentally simulate hypothetical scenarios is a rapidly growing area of research in both psychology and neuroscience. Episodic future thought, or the ability to simulate specific personal episodes that may potentially occur in the future, represents one facet of this general capacity that continues to garner a considerable amount of interest.(More)
In designing experiments to investigate retrieval of event memory, researchers choose between utilizing laboratory-based methods (in which to-be-remembered materials are presented to participants) and autobiographical approaches (in which the to-be-remembered materials are events from the participant's pre-experimental life). In practice, most laboratory(More)
Recent interest in the benefits of retrieval practice on long-term retention--the testing effect--has spawned a considerable amount of research toward understanding the underlying nature of this ubiquitous memory phenomenon. Taking a test may benefit retention through both direct means (engaging appropriate retrieval processes) and indirect means (fostering(More)
The recent emergence and popularity of online educational resources brings with it challenges for educators to optimize the dissemination of online content. Here we provide evidence that points toward a solution for the difficulty that students frequently report in sustaining attention to online lectures over extended periods. In two experiments, we(More)
The goal of the present study was to examine the hypothesis that the ability to construct vivid mental images of the future involves sampling the contents of memory. In two experiments, participants envisioned future scenarios occurring in contextual settings that were represented in memory in varying degrees of perceptual detail. In both experiments,(More)
Three experiments examined changes in liking and memory for music as a function of number of previous exposures, the ecological validity of the music, and whether the exposure phase required focused or incidental listening. After incidental listening, liking ratings were higher for music heard more often in the exposure phase and this association was(More)
In the present study, subjects studied lists of words across four experimental conditions: whether (or not) subjects received initial testing for these lists and whether (or not) they were made aware of an upcoming final free-recall test. Initial testing enhanced final-test performance; however, subjects benefited more from initial testing when they also(More)
Although the future often seems intangible, we can make it more concrete by imagining prospective events. Here, using functional MRI, we demonstrate a mechanism by which the ventromedial prefrontal cortex supports such episodic simulations, and thereby contributes to affective foresight: This region supports processes that (i) integrate knowledge related to(More)