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How Mental Time Travel Helps Humans Predict the Future

Oct 17, 2017 | 10 videos
Video by The Atlantic

Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming? Turns out that humans predict the future by using their memories. In this video, based on a recent article, The Atlantic science writer Julie Beck explains how functional MRI scans have allowed researchers to determine that the same brain structures involved in remembering the past are also utilized in forecasting. This means that when we envision the future, we are simply rearranging and reconstructing our memories—an ability known as "mental time travel."

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Authors: Alice Roth, Brianna Pressey, Atthar Mirza

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