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An adaptive function of mental time travel: Motivating farsighted decisions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 January 2018

Roland G. Benoit
Affiliation:
Max Planck Research Group – Adaptive Memory. rbenoit@cbs.mpg.de berkers@cbs.mpg.de http://www.cbs.mpg.de/independent-research-groups/adaptive-memory
Ruud M. W. J. Berkers
Affiliation:
Max Planck Research Group – Adaptive Memory. rbenoit@cbs.mpg.de berkers@cbs.mpg.de http://www.cbs.mpg.de/independent-research-groups/adaptive-memory
Philipp C. Paulus
Affiliation:
Max Planck Research Group – Adaptive Memory. rbenoit@cbs.mpg.de berkers@cbs.mpg.de http://www.cbs.mpg.de/independent-research-groups/adaptive-memory International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, 04103 Leipzig, Germany. paulus@cbs.mpg.de

Abstract

The episodic memory system allows us to experience the emotions of past, counterfactual, and prospective events. We outline how this phenomenological experience can convey motivational incentives for farsighted decisions. In this way, we challenge important arguments for Mahr & Csibra's (M&C's) conclusion that future-oriented mental time travel is unlikely to be a central function of episodic memory.

Type
Open Peer Commentary
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

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