On the nature of medial temporal lobe contributions to the constructive simulation of future events

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2009 May 12;364(1521):1245-53. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2008.0308.


A rapidly growing number of studies indicate that imagining or simulating possible future events depends on much of the same neural machinery as does remembering past events. One especially striking finding is that the medial temporal lobe (MTL), which has long been linked to memory function, appears to be similarly engaged during future event simulation. This paper focuses on the role of two MTL regions--the hippocampus and parahippocampal cortex--in thinking about the future and building mental simulations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amnesia / physiopathology
  • Concept Formation / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Imagination / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Parahippocampal Gyrus / physiology*