Feeling the future: prospects for a theory of implicit prospection
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- Gerrans, P. & Sander, D. Biol Philos (2014) 29: 699. doi:10.1007/s10539-013-9408-9
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Mental time travel refers to the ability of an organism to project herself backward and forward in time, using episodic memory and imagination to simulate past and future experiences. The evolution of mental time travel gives humans a unique capacity for prospection: the ability to pre-experience the future. Discussions of mental time travel treat it as an instance of explicit prospection. We argue that implicit simulations of past and future experience can also be used as a way of gaining information about the future to shape preferences and guide behaviour.