Memory & Cognition

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 265–278

Remembering and forecasting: The relation


DOI: 10.3758/MC.38.3.265

Cite this article as:
Berntsen, D. & Bohn, A. Memory & Cognition (2010) 38: 265. doi:10.3758/MC.38.3.265


Episodic future thinking is a projection of the self into the future to mentally preexperience an event. Previous work has shown striking similarities between autobiographical memory and episodic future thinking in response to various experimental manipulations. This has nurtured the idea of a shared neurocognitive system underlying both processes. Here, undergraduates generated autobiographical memories and future event representations in response to cue words and requests for important events and rated their characteristics. Important and wordcued events differed markedly on almost all measures. Past, as compared with future, events were rated as more sensorially vivid and less relevant to life story and identity. However, in contrast to previous work, these main effects were qualified by a number of interactions, suggesting important functional differences between the two temporal directions. For both temporal directions, sensory imagery dropped, whereas self-narrative importance and reference to normative cultural life script events increased with increasing temporal distance.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Center on Autobiographical Memory ResearchAarhus UniversityAarhus C.Denmark