Human beings’ ability to envisage the future has been recently assumed to rely on the reconstructive nature of episodic memory (Schacter & Addis, 2007). In the present research, young adults mentally reexperienced and preexperienced temporally close and distant autobiographical episodes, and rated their phenomenal characteristics as well as their novelty. Additionally, they performed a delayed recognition task including remember-know judgments on new, old-remember, and old-imagine words. Results showed that past and future temporally close episodes included more phenomenal details than distant episodes, in line with earlier studies. However, future events were occasionally rated as already occurred in the past. Furthermore, in the recognition task, participants falsely attributed old-imagine words to remembered episodes. While partially in line with previous results, these findings call for a more subtle analysis in order to discriminate representations of past episodes from true future events simulations.
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