Does metarepresentation make human mental time travel unique?

Redshaw, Jonathan (2014) Does metarepresentation make human mental time travel unique?. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 5 5: 519-531. doi:10.1002/wcs.1308

Author Redshaw, Jonathan
Title Does metarepresentation make human mental time travel unique?
Journal name Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1939-5078
Publication date 2014
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/wcs.1308
Open Access Status
Volume 5
Issue 5
Start page 519
End page 531
Total pages 13
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley and Sons
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Recent neurological evidence suggests that rats can mentally represent novel spatial trajectories and then are more likely to follow these paths in the future. Consequently, it has been proposed that human and nonhuman mental time travel capacities may differ in degree rather than kind. As of yet, however, there is no evidence for the crucial and qualitatively distinct component of metarepresentation in any nonhuman animal, not even our closest great ape relatives. Metarepresentation allows humans to represent the relationship between current reality and mere representations of reality-including those of the future. Drawing on parallels with dreaming and mind-wandering, I outline the future-oriented benefits associated with uncontextualized (non-metarepresentational) representations of past and novel events, but propose that further, immense benefits flowed from the addition of metarepresentational insight. I critique previous behavioral paradigms used to assess mental time travel in animals and suggest how future-oriented metarepresentation might possibly be demonstrated nonverbally.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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