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Conscious Cogn. 2008 Mar;17(1):330-4. Epub 2007 May 30.

Episodic future thought and its relation to remembering: evidence from ratings of subjective experience.

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Department of Psychology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA.


The goal of the present study was to examine the hypothesis that the ability to construct vivid mental images of the future involves sampling the contents of memory. In two experiments, participants envisioned future scenarios occurring in contextual settings that were represented in memory in varying degrees of perceptual detail. In both experiments, detailed contextual settings were associated with more detailed images of the future and a stronger subjective experience. Our findings suggest that the contents of memory are routinely sampled during the construction of personal future scenarios.

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