Remembering the past to imagine the future: the prospective brain

  title={Remembering the past to imagine the future: the prospective brain},
  author={Daniel L. Schacter and Donna Rose Addis and Randy L. Buckner},
  journal={Nature Reviews Neuroscience},
A rapidly growing number of recent studies show that imagining the future depends on much of the same neural machinery that is needed for remembering the past. These findings have led to the concept of the prospective brain; an idea that a crucial function of the brain is to use stored information to imagine, simulate and predict possible future events. We suggest that processes such as memory can be productively re-conceptualized in light of this idea. 

Remembering the Past to Imagine the Future: A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective

A function of memory that has been overlooked until recently concerns its role in allowing individuals to imagine or simulate possible future events. However, a growing number of recent studies show

On the nature of medial temporal lobe contributions to the constructive simulation of future events

  • D. SchacterD. Addis
  • Biology, Psychology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2009
The role of two MTL regions—the hippocampus and parahippocampal cortex—in thinking about the future and building mental simulations is focused on.

The construction system of the brain

  • D. HassabisE. Maguire
  • Psychology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2009
The ability to construct a hypothetical situation in one's imagination prior to it actually occurring may afford greater accuracy in predicting its eventual outcome. The recollection of past

Predicting the past, remembering the future

  • S. Gershman
  • Psychology, Biology
    Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
  • 2017

Prospective Memory: The Future for Future Intentions

Prospective memory is the ability to remember to execute future intentions and thoughts. It is probably the newest established field of memory research. We provide a selective review of work

Escaping the Past: Contributions of the Hippocampus to Future Thinking and Imagination

An overview of relevant studies and ideas that have attempted to characterize the contributions of the hippocampus to future thinking and imagination are provided, focusing mainly on neuroimaging studies conducted in laboratories that have been concerned with episodic simulation or the construction of a detailed mental representation of a possible experience.

Role of the hippocampus in remembering the past and imagining the future

The findings suggest that the Capacity for imagining the future, like the capacity for remembering the remote past, is independent of the hippocampus.

Remembering and imagining differentially engage the hippocampus: A multivariate fMRI investigation

While the hippocampus seems to be involved in both remembering the past and imagining the future, the pattern of activity within the hippocampus distinguishes between these two different tasks.



Self-projection and the brain

The cognitive neuroscience of constructive memory: remembering the past and imagining the future

  • D. SchacterD. Addis
  • Psychology, Biology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2007
Cognitive, neuropsychological and neuroimaging evidence is considered showing that there is considerable overlap in the psychological and neural processes involved in remembering the past and imagining the future.

Episodic future thought and its relation to remembering: Evidence from ratings of subjective experience

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,

Neural substrates of envisioning the future

Subjects appear to place their future scenarios in well known visual–spatial contexts, and differences between the future and past tasks are attributed to differences in the demands placed on regions that underlie motor imagery of bodily movements.

Deconstructing episodic memory with construction

"Memory of the future": an essay on the temporal organization of conscious awareness.

It is concluded that the prefrontal cortex is responsible for the temporal organization of behaviour and cognition due to its seemingly specific capacity to handle serial information and to extract causal relations from such information.

The proactive brain: using analogies and associations to generate predictions

  • M. Bar
  • Psychology, Biology
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences
  • 2007

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.