Temporal characteristics of thought orientation: an ERP study

[Speaker] Ito, Yuichi:1
[Co-author] Shibata, Midori:1, Tanaka, Yuto:2, Terasawa, Yuri:3, Umeda, Satoshi:3
1:Keio Advanced Research Centers, Keio University (Japan), 2:Graduate School of Human Relations, Keio University (Japan), 3:Department of Psychology, Keio University (Japan)

The human mind is often wandering toward various directions, including temporal orientation (past or future) and valence (negative or positive). However, it remains unclear how those orientations are settled and where are the brain areas for realizing them. The present study aimed to clarify those points using electroencephalogram (EEG). Participants were asked to think about the near future, the far future, the near past, and the far past experiences in response to the presented cue sentences. Results indicated that a main effect of temporal orientation (future > past) was found in the relatively earlier (before 400 ms) amplitudes within prefrontal areas. It suggests that brain activities with constructing mental representation of temporal orientations could be differentiated between thinking about future and past.
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