Identified areas of the brain involved in mental time travel

Imaginary walk past almost no different from the memory of one of the real walking, when compared in terms of brain activity. (Illustration from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.)

An international team of neuroscientists has determined which areas of the brain a person uses, making a mental time travel.

"This type of travel can be divided in the form of two separate mental processes: one defined by the events, the characters, the scene, and the other — the time — says one of the authors of Endel Talving (Endel Tulving), representing the University of Toronto (Canada). — We have a relatively good understanding of the laws of perception, reconstruction, inventing space, but know almost nothing about the second process. Remembering the events of the previous evening, a man, of course, aware that they belong to the past, so we decided to find out how it turns out. "

In the experiments, the researchers asked subjects to imagine a walk in the same well-familiar route in the past, the present and the future, and remember one of the real walks. The results were recorded by the method of functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Compared the brain activity of people who thought about the past (future) and the present, researchers found differences in certain parts of the parietal cortex, cerebellum, thalamus and frontal cortex. It is worth noting that thinking about the future and the real and imaginary past proved about the same type of activity.

"We specifically planned the experiments so as to separate from each other space and time, — says Mr. Talving. — So, in the brain there are some areas that show b? Greater activity in those cases where a person does not think about the present. Hopefully, this study will draw the attention of colleagues: new results you want to play and test. "

Recall: in the beginning of this year, another research group has shown that mental journey quite successfully converted to physical movement, people lean forward, dreaming of the future and past, remembering the past.

The full report will be published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Like this post? Please share to your friends: