The Role of Cue Imageability and Executive Function
Recalling the past and imagining the future is thought to employ very similar cognitive mechanisms. The strategic retrieval of specific past autobiographical events has been shown to depend on executive processes, and to be affected by cue imageability. The cognitive mechanisms underlying the construction of specific events during episodic future thinking remain largely unexplored. In this study, we examined whether episodic future thoughts depend on executive processes and are affected by cue imageability to the same extent as autobiographical remembering of past events. Results showed that autobiographical memory and episodic future thinking were affected similarly by cue imageability, suggesting that retrieval strategy can be manipulated in similar ways for both temporal directions. Furthermore, executive control processes (as measured by verbal fluency) was correlated with fluency and number of details in both memories and future thoughts, indicating the involvement of some common component processes in autobiographical memory and future thinking.
Main Research Area:
Clinical Perspectives on Autobiographical Memory, 2012