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Neuropsychologia 45 (2007) 13631377 Remembering the past and imagining the future: Common and distinct

Summary: Neuropsychologia 45 (2007) 13631377
Remembering the past and imagining the future: Common and distinct
neural substrates during event construction and elaboration
Donna Rose Addisa,b,, Alana T. Wonga,b, Daniel L. Schactera,b
a Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, United States
b MGH/MIT/HMS Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, United States
Received 1 July 2006; received in revised form 26 October 2006; accepted 27 October 2006
Available online 28 November 2006
People can consciously re-experience past events and pre-experience possible future events. This fMRI study examined the neural regions
mediating the construction and elaboration of past and future events. Participants were cued with a noun for 20 s and instructed to construct
a past or future event within a specified time period (week, year, 520 years). Once participants had the event in mind, they made a button
press and for the remainder of the 20 s elaborated on the event. Importantly, all events generated were episodic and did not differ on a number
of phenomenological qualities (detail, emotionality, personal significance, field/observer perspective). Conjunction analyses indicated the left
hippocampus was commonly engaged by past and future event construction, along with posterior visuospatial regions, but considerable neural
differentiation was also observed during the construction phase. Future events recruited regions involved in prospective thinking and generation
processes, specifically right frontopolar cortex and left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, respectively. Furthermore, future event construction uniquely
engaged the right hippocampus, possibly as a response to the novelty of these events. In contrast to the construction phase, elaboration was
characterized by remarkable overlap in regions comprising the autobiographical memory retrieval network, attributable to the common processes
engaged during elaboration, including self-referential processing, contextual and episodic imagery. This striking neural overlap is consistent with


Source: Addis, Donna Rose - Department of Psychology, University of Auckland
Schacter, Daniel - Department of Psychology, Harvard University


Collections: Biology and Medicine