FLASH! How our brain ’sees’ the future?

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How our brain ’sees’ the future?

No, I'm not talking about people who say they can predict the future, such as fortune-tellers. On the contrary, this post is about a process that our brain is using extensively and routinely. When you think about your next meal at a favorite restaurant, your brain 'creates' images for you. Now, researchers have found that we're using the same areas of our brain to remember the past and envision the future. Even if this doesn't lead to practical applications, it indicates that people who clearly remember stories from their past are better equipped to imagine their future than people suffering from amnesia for example.

"In our daily lives, we probably spend more time envisioning what we're going to do tomorrow or later on in the day than we do remembering, but not much is known about how we go about forming these mental images of the future,"

First, the study clearly demonstrates that the neural network underlying future thought is not isolated in the brain's frontal cortex, as some have speculated. Although the frontal lobes play a well-documented role in carrying out future-oriented executive operations, such as anticipation, planning and monitoring, the spark for these activities may well be the very process of envisioning oneself in a specific future event, an activity based within and reliant upon the same neurally distributed network used to retrieve autobiographical memories.

Second, within this neural network, patterns of activity suggest that the visual and spatial context for our imagined future often is pieced together using our past experiences, including memories of specific body movements and visual perspective changes – data stored as we navigated through similar settings in the past.

Of course, these findings will need to be confirmed by other experiments. But how this one was conducted?

Researchers asked the students to remember an event from their past, to imagine something happening to them in a near future, and to think about… Bill Clinton. Because he's well-known, but very few students knew him personally, the thoughts about the former U.S. president were used to establish a baseline level of brain activity. So the researchers were better able to compare the other kinds of thoughts the students have about their personal past and future.

Comparing images of brain activity in response to the "self-remember" and "self-future" event cues, researchers found a surprisingly complete overlap among regions of the brain used for remembering the past and those used for envisioning the future – every region involved in recollecting the past was also used in envisioning the future.

SOURCE: Click here


Re: FLASH! How our brain 'sees' the future?

Thanks for the info.
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