Developmental and cognitive perspectives on humans’ sense of the times of past and future events
Mental time travel in human adults includes a sense of when past events occurred and future events are expected to occur. Studies with adults and children reveal that a number of distinct psychological processes contribute to a temporally differentiated sense of the past and future. Adults possess representations of multiple time patterns, and these representations take several different forms. Memory for the times of past events is built upon reconstruction of temporal locations, impressions of distances in the past, and order-codes. The times of future events are understood primarily as locations in represented time patterns, but propositions active in memory contain information that particular events are coming soon. Young children have difficulty distinguishing the past–future status of some events, showing that basic memory processes do not make the distinction clear. Concepts of the past and future may be required for differentiating these two categories of experience.
Friedman, William J. 2005. "Developmental and cognitive perspectives on humans’ sense of the times of past and future events." Learning and Motivation 36(2): 145-158.
Learning and Motivation
Time, Memory, Orientation, Future, Representation