What Happens in the Brain When We Imagine the Future?

In a paper published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the research team discovered that, when it comes to imagining the future, the default mode network actually splits into two complementary parts. One helps create and predict the imagined event, what the researchers call the “constructive” function. The other assesses whether that newly constructed event is positive or negative, what they call the “evaluative” function. “It’s a neat division,” says Joseph Kable. “When psychologists talk about why humans have the ability to imagine the future, usually it’s so we can decide what to do, plan, make decisions. But a critical function is the evaluative function; it’s not just about coming up with a possibility but also evaluating it as good or bad.”

Home About Contact