Bruce Garrett Cartoon
The Cartoon Gallery

A Coming Out Story
A Coming Out Story

My Photo Galleries
New and Improved!

Past Web Logs
The Story So Far archives

My Amazon.Com Wish List

My Myspace Profile

Bruce Garrett's Profile
Bruce Garrett's Facebook profile


Blogs I Read!
Alicublog

Wayne Besen

Box Turtle Bulletin

Daily Kos

Mike Daisy's Blog

The Disney Blog

Disney Gossip

Brad DeLong

Dispatches From The Culture Wars

Epcot Explorer's Encyclopedia

Envisioning The American Dream

Eschaton

Ex-Gay Watch

Hullabaloo

Joe. My. God

Made In Brazil

Peterson Toscano

Progress City USA

Slacktivist

Slacktiverse

SLOG

Fear the wrath of Sparky!

Truth Wins Out Blog

Wil Wheaton



Gone But Not Forgotten

The Rittenhouse Review

Steve Gilliard's News Blog

Steve Gilliard's Blogspot Site



Great Cartoon Sites!

Howard Cruse Central

Tripping Over You
Tripping Over You

XKCD

Commando Cody Monthly

Scandinavia And The World

Dope Rider

The World Of Kirk Anderson

Ann Telnaes' Cartoon Site

Bors Blog

John K

Penny Arcade




Other News & Commentary

Amtrak In The Heartland

Corridor Capital

Railway Age

Maryland Weather Blog

Foot's Forecast

All Facts & Opinions

Baltimore Crime

Cursor

HinesSight

Page One Q
(GLBT News)


Michelangelo Signorile

The Smirking Chimp

Talking Points Memo

Truth Wins Out

The Raw Story

Slashdot




International News & Views

BBC

NIS News Bulletin (Dutch)

Mexico Daily

The Local (Sweden)




News & Views from Germany

Spiegel Online

The Local

Deutsche Welle

Young Germany




Fun Stuff

It's not news. It's FARK

Plan 59

Pleasant Family Shopping

Discount Stores of the 60s

Retrospace

Photos of the Forgotten

Boom-Pop!

Comics With Problems

HMK Mystery Streams




Mercedes Love!

Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz TV

Mercedes-Benz Owners Club of America

MBCA - Greater Washington Section

BenzInsider

Mercedes-Benz Blog

BenzWorld Forum

January 7th, 2008

To Evision Your Tomorrow, Remember Your Past

For those folks in my life who think I dwell too much on the past…

Psychologists Use fMRI To Understand Ties Between Memories And The Imagination

Psychologists have found that thought patterns used to recall the past and imagine the future are strikingly similar. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging to show the brain at work, they have observed the same regions activated in a similar pattern whenever a person remembers an event from the past or imagines himself in a future situation…

For some, the best hope of ‘seeing’ the future leads them to seek guidance — perhaps from an astrologist. But it’s not very scientific. Now, psychologists at Washington University are finding that your ability to envision the future does in fact goes hand-in-hand with remembering the past. Both processes spark similar neural activity in the brain.

"You might look at it as mental time travel–the ability to take thoughts about ourselves and project them either into the past or into the future," says Kathleen McDermott, Ph.D. and Washington University psychology professor. The team used "functional magnetic resonance imaging" — or fMRI — to "see" brain activity. They asked college students to recall past events and then envision themselves experiencing such an event in their future. The results? Similar areas of the brain "lit up" in both scenarios.

"We’re taking these images from our memories and projecting them into novel future scenarios," says psychology professor Karl Szpunar.

Most scientists believed thinking about the future was a process occurring solely in the brain’s frontal lobe. But the fMRI data showed a variety of brain areas were activated when subjects dreamt of the future.

"All the regions that we know are important for memory are just as important when we imagine our future," Szpunar says.

Researchers say besides furthering their understanding of the brain — the findings may help research into amnesia, a curious psychiatric phenomenon. In addition to not being able to remember the past, most people who suffer from amnesia cannot envision or visualize what they’ll be doing in the future — even the next day.

Also from the same web site:

Lack Of Imagination In Older Adults Linked To Declining Memory

I’ve always found charming, the head on collision between George Santayana’s "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" and Shaw’s "We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future".  All my life I’ve intuited that remembrance and imagination, which is the key to any future you may hope to have, were inseparably interlocked chunks of a personality, and to turn away from one would be essentally to kick the legs out from beneath the other, and leave you just an empty shell walking zombie like in the present.  And actually, I see a lot of people in this world who seem to be doing just that.

I am not living in the past.  I am living with it.  Sometimes it’s a struggle.  But it’s the life I have and I can’t go forward without taking it with me.  Nobody does.

2 Responses to “To Evision Your Tomorrow, Remember Your Past”

  1. Peterson Toscano Says:

    wow, very cool. I especially like the link with creativity and memory. I imagine creative exercises really rejuvenate the brain. Perhaps they need to do more imrov theater at old folks homes.

  2. Bruce Says:

    I thought of you when I was reading those articles.  A lot of your performance art, particularly in "Doin’ Time…" flows from out of your own personal history and remembrances.  It’s what makes that play so powerful…gives it its heart.  What’s interesting is now they can see that it’s the same parts of our brains working both when we remember, and when we imagine.  Imagination carries us forward in life.  It keeps us young in spirit.  But so does remembrance.  It doesn’t trap us in the past.  I think Santayana is right.  The more we try to forget the past, the more it traps us.  You have to look back at it, so you can imagine where you want to be tomorrow.

    Heh…my "Ex" wrote me once saying that even though I was older then him by about ten years (I was in my mid thirties, he in his mid twenties when we first started dating…), I always seemed the younger of us.  And I have been told often that I present younger then I am.  But it’s not arrested adolescence.  It’s wonder. 

Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories, WoodwardClassOf72.com


What I'm Currently Reading...




What I'm Currently Watching...




What I'm Currently Listening To...




Comic Book I've Read Recently...



web
stats

This page and all original content copyright © 2015 by Bruce Garrett. All rights reserved. Send questions, comments and hysterical outbursts to: bruce@brucegarrett.com

This blog is powered by WordPress and is hosted at MomoWeb. Some custom design was done by Winters Web Works. Some embedded content was created with the help of Adobe Photoshop for MacOS and/or The Gimp. I proof with Firefox on either Windows, Linux or MacOS depending on which machine I happen to be running at the time.