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About this author
Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
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January 24, 2007

Forgetting the Future

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Until very recently, there was a little known finding that if you have an amnesic person who struggles to remember the past, then they're probably not good at envisioning the future. But why is this?

hippocampus-2.gifThe results of a new neuroimaging study conducted at the University College London show that the hippocampus, which has long been known to be a brain region intimately tied to memory, is also harnessed to construct possible futures. If the hippocampus is damaged, then one will have both a hard time remembering the past and envisioning the future.

According to Harvard's cognitive neuroscientist Donna Addis, this research could have interesting implications for aging. The hippocampus is one of the first brain regions to show signs of deterioration as we get older and her research suggests that the ability to envision the future experiences also declines as people age. So, maybe treatments for conditions like Age-Associated Memory Impairment might will not only improve our memory but also our future outlook.

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Cogniceuticals


COMMENTS

1. Adriana on February 2, 2007 4:37 PM writes...

In the cultures of poverty, there is also a difficulty in envisioning any other future than the one of the culture.
Ie gang world. I must be a gangster. My brother is a gangster and my father is and I am one too.

No other possibilities.

So if there were communications, directed to the hippocampus, in the area of myths, a different kind of future, might change or at least open up the possibility of a different future

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