Are animals stuck in time?

@article{Roberts2002AreAS,
  title={Are animals stuck in time?},
  author={William A. Roberts},
  journal={Psychological bulletin},
  year={2002},
  volume={128 3},
  pages={
          473-89
        }
}
  • W. Roberts
  • Published 1 May 2002
  • Psychology
  • Psychological bulletin
People can time travel cognitively because they can remember events having occurred at particular times in the past (episodic memory) and because they can anticipate new events occurring at particular times in the future. The ability to assign points in time to events arises from human development of a sense of time and its accompanying time-keeping technology. The hypothesis is advanced that animals are cognitively stuck in time: that is, they have no sense of time and thus have no episodic… 

Figures from this paper

The comparative study of mental time travel

Mental time travel in animals: A challenging question

Can animals recall the past and plan for the future?

Experiments on memory in food-caching birds show that western scrub-jays form integrated, flexible, trial-unique memories of what they hid, where and when, and suggest that some animals have elements of both episodic-like memory and future planning.

Evidence for remembering when events occurred in a rodent model of episodic memory

The results suggest that, at the time of memory assessment, rats remember when a recent episode occurred, similar to human episodic memory.

Animals Represent the past and the Future

  • T. Zentall
  • Psychology, Biology
    Evolutionary psychology : an international journal of evolutionary approaches to psychology and behavior
  • 2013
There is growing evidence that nonhuman animals have some of this capacity as well, and according to Tulving's more recent definition of mental time-travel, several animals have been shown to be able to pass the spoon test.

The evolution of foresight: What is mental time travel, and is it unique to humans?

It is submitted that mental time travel is not an encapsulated cognitive system, but instead comprises several subsidiary mechanisms that allow prediction of future situations and should be considered in addition to direct evidence of future-directed action.

Representing past and future events

There is accumulating evidence that animals show behavior that when reported in humans would be taken as evidence for cognitive time travel, and the ability of animals to anticipate future events (future planning) has also been reported.

Mental time travel in animals?

...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 153 REFERENCES

Scale effects in memory for the timeof events

Results for accuracy, confidence, and number of recall cues supported the position that subjects reconstruct the time from fragmentary information associated with the event, and one would expect that estimates on finer time scales would often exceed grosser scales in accuracy.

Episodic memory: what can animals remember about their past?

Field observations of time-place behaviour in scavenging birds

Mental time travel and the evolution of the human mind.

It is argued that the human ability to travel mentally in time constitutes a discontinuity between ourselves and other animals and allows a more rapid and flexible adaptation to complex, changing environments than is afforded by instincts or conventional learning.

The Development of Children's Memory for the Time of Past Events.

Previous research on adults' and children's memory for the time of past events has generally overlooked the fundamental distinction between knowledge of temporal distance in the past and knowledge of

Time and memory: towards a pacemaker-free theory of interval timing.

It is argued that the dominant pacemaker-accumulator theory, scalar expectancy theory (SET), fails to explain some basic properties of operant behavior on interval-timing procedures and can only accommodate a number of discrepancies by modifications and elaborations that raise questions about the entire theory.

Chapter 7 Ordinal, phase, and interval timing

Spontaneous recovery without interference: Why remembering is adaptive

Spontaneous recovery from extinction is a reliable result of two ingredients, variable training outcomes and the passage of time. Accounts of the phenomenon, which have come to focus on interference

Alternative representations of time, number, and rate

...