On the role of episodic future simulation in encoding of prospective memories

Gene A. Brewer, Richard L. Marsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Simulating future events is dependent on a similar neural circuitry to that which supports retrieving contextual information about past events. The current study examined two novel predictions from recently reported episodic future simulation studies. Prospective memory is broadly defined as the usage of episodic memory processes to encode and retrieve intentions at some appropriate moment in the future. The results from two experiments are consistent with the idea that episodic future simulation is an important component of encoding prospective memories (i.e., forming intentions for the future). Furthermore, the results necessitate further neuroscientific investigations of encoding prospective memories and additionally suggest that current theories of prospective memory need to be updated to fully account for our ability to encode, retrieve, and fulfill intentions for the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalCognitive Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Episodic memory
  • Future simulation
  • Prospective memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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