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“The fact that episodic memory is fragmentary and fragile suggests that its adaptiveness may derive less from its role as an accurate record of personal history than from providing a ‘vocabulary’ from which to construct planned future events (and perhaps to embellish events of the past). It may be part of a more general toolbox that allowed us to escape from the present and develop foresight, and perhaps create a sense of personal identity. Indeed, our ability to revisit the past may be only a design feature of our ability to conceive of the future.” – Thomas Suddendorf and Michael Corballis, “The evolution of foresight: what is mental time travel, and is it unique to humans?”

Published inScience

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