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Hawai’i’s Shared Futures By Vision Foresight Strategy

Past and Future are Linked in the Brain

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Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have used fMRI techniques to study the ability of people to envision themselves in some future, yet-to-occur, situation. The findings suggest that the ability to envision future personal states is intricately linked to the ability to remember past personal experiences. Both remembering past events and envisioning future events involve very similar patterns of brain activity and incorporate the same network of brain areas. The findings may indicate that the brain uses pieces of memories of various physical and visual stimuli to create a recognizable experience yet-to-come. The study may also indicate that other areas of the brain (such as the the frontal lobes) that play roles in future-oriented activities such as planning still rely on other parts of the brain and the ability to envision a future first. Learn more.

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