Mental time travel and the shaping of the human mind

Suddendorf, Thomas, Addis, Donna Rose and Corballis, Michael C. (2009) Mental time travel and the shaping of the human mind. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B - Biological Sciences, 364 1521: 1317-1324. doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0301

Author Suddendorf, Thomas
Addis, Donna Rose
Corballis, Michael C.
Title Mental time travel and the shaping of the human mind
Journal name Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B - Biological Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-2970
Publication date 2009
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rstb.2008.0301
Volume 364
Issue 1521
Start page 1317
End page 1324
Total pages 8
Editor Professor Georgina Mace
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Royal Society Publishing
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
170299 Cognitive Science not elsewhere classified
970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Abstract Episodic memory, enabling conscious recollection of past episodes, can be distinguished from semantic memory, which stores enduring facts about the world. Episodic memory shares a core neural network with the simulation of future episodes, enabling mental time travel into both the past and the future. The notion that there might be something distinctly human about mental time travel has provoked ingenious attempts to demonstrate episodic memory or future simulation in nonhuman animals, but we argue that they have not yet established a capacity comparable to the human faculty. The evolution of the capacity to simulate possible future events, based on episodic memory, enhanced fitness by enabling action in preparation of different possible scenarios that increased present or future survival and reproduction chances. Human language may have evolved in the first instance for the sharing of past and planned future events, and, indeed, fictional ones, further enhancing fitness in social settings.
Keyword mental time travel
episodic memory
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 84 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 100 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 08:26:30 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Psychology