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Seeing the FutureTheoretical Perspectives on Future-Oriented Mental Time Travel$
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Kourken Michaelian, Stanley B. Klein, and Karl K. Szpunar

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190241537

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190241537.001.0001

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Semantic Memory as the Essential Scaffold for Future-Oriented Mental Time Travel

Semantic Memory as the Essential Scaffold for Future-Oriented Mental Time Travel

Chapter:
(p.389) 19 Semantic Memory as the Essential Scaffold for Future-Oriented Mental Time Travel
Source:
Seeing the Future
Author(s):

Muireann Irish

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190241537.003.0019

Semantic memory is typically conceptualized as an individual’s repository of acquired knowledge of the world around him or her. It is becoming clear, however, that the undifferentiated and flexible nature of semantic memory renders it particularly well suited to support complex acts of future-oriented mental time travel. This chapter integrates findings from studies of future thinking in clinical populations with the extant functional neuroimaging literature on healthy individuals to demonstrate the pivotal contribution of semantic memory for future mental time travel. In doing so, it expands upon the semantic scaffolding hypothesis, which holds that semantic memory provides the requisite framework for future simulation. As such, the objective of this chapter is to emphasize the necessary contribution of semantic memory, in partnership with episodic memory, for supporting complex acts of future-oriented mental time travel.

Keywords:   semantic memory, future-oriented mental time travel, neuroimaging, episodic memory, mental time travel

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