Foresight and Evolution of the Human Mind

  title={Foresight and Evolution of the Human Mind},
  author={Thomas Suddendorf},
  pages={1006 - 1007}
Planning for the future is a fundamental human survival strategy. New results suggest that great apes can anticipate future needs and that this ability has roots more ancient than previously thought. 
Animal Behaviour: Planning for breakfast
It is commonly believed that planning for the future is a skill unique to humans. Could other animals, even those as evolutionarily distant as western scrub-jays, share this skill with us?
Prospection: Experiencing the Future
Scientists are beginning to understand how the brain simulates future events, how it uses those simulations to predict an event's hedonic consequences, and why these predictions so often go awry.
Mental time travel across the disciplines: The future looks bright
It is argued that foresight has for too long lived in the shadows of research on memory and call for further research efforts to move the debates forward.
The Emergence of Episodic Foresight and Its Consequences
Imagining future events and adjusting current behavior accordingly is a hallmark of human cognition. The development of such episodic foresight is attracting increasing research attention. In this
Memory , Imagination , and Predicting the Future : A Common Brain Mechanism ?
Empirical findings and the evolving theoretical frameworks that seek to explain how a common neural system supports the authors' recollection of times past, imagination, and their attempts to predict the future are explored.
Explaining human cognitive autapomorphies
  • T. Suddendorf
  • Biology, Psychology
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • 2008
The real reason for the apparent discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds is that all closely related hominids have become extinct, and Penn et al.'s conclusion that it all comes down to one trait is premature.
Memory, Imagination, and Predicting the Future
  • S. Mullally, E. Maguire
  • Psychology, Biology
    The Neuroscientist : a review journal bringing neurobiology, neurology and psychiatry
  • 2014
Empirical findings and the evolving theoretical frameworks that seek to explain how a common neural system supports the authors' recollection of times past, imagination, and their attempts to predict the future are explored.
Behavioural evidence for mental time travel in nonhuman animals
Prospection and natural selection


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.
Mental evolution and development: Evidence for secondary representation in children, great apes, and other animals.
Recent interest in the development and evolution of theory of mind has provided a wealth of information about representational skills in both children and animals, According to J, Perrier (1991),
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.
Apes Save Tools for Future Use
Bonobos and orangutans selected, transported, and saved appropriate tools above baseline levels to use them 1 hour later, and it was shown that seeing the apparatus during tool selection was not necessary to succeed.
Mental time travel in animals?
Memory and Temporal Experience: the Effects of Episodic Memory Loss on an Amnesic Patient's Ability to Remember the Past and Imagine the Future
Abstract This article examines the effects of memory loss on a patient's ability to remember the past and imagine the future. We present the case of D.B., who, as a result of hypoxic brain damage,
Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind?
Abstract An individual has a theory of mind if he imputes mental states to himself and others. A system of inferences of this kind is properly viewed as a theory because such states are not directly
Are animals stuck in time?
Research on animals' abilities to detect time of day, track short time intervals, remember the order of a sequence of events, and anticipate future events are considered and it is concluded that the stuck-in-time hypothesis is largely supported by the current evidence.