Mental time travelling – Daycatcher Diary

While the idea makes for great fiction, scientists say traveling to the past is impossible. One example of great fiction is the most beautifully crafted historical drama series called Outlander, where time travel is the main theme. And like the author Diana Gabaldon explains: “It’s just that we experience it along with the characters, who are having to learn it by trial and error. There is no handbook for time travelers”.

In the time traveller’s handbook, Kathrin Passig and Aleks Scholz tell us everything a time traveller needs to know. “The book lets us experience a Mayan festival, informs us what vaccinations we need before travelling back to the Renaissance period and the clothes we should pack for the Weichselian glacial period. And there’s more: it reveals the most beautiful destinations and eras, useful knowledge about parallel worlds and their particularities, social etiquette in different epochs and practical tips for several parts of the world and the whole universe.”

What is time? We cannot hold it, slow it down, freeze it. We can’t go back in time either.

As you might have noticed Daycatcher has introduced mental time traveling. With the help of the small calendar icon (on mobile in the footer, on bigger screens in the header) you can go “back in time” in your journal and start to riffle through your memories. What is mental time traveling? In psychology, mental time travel is the capacity to mentally reconstruct personal events from the past as well as to imagine possible scenarios in the future. The term was coined by Endel Tulving in 1985, as was the largely synonymous term chronesthesia.

Who can not remember the past can not imagine the future!

Scientists have discovered that imagining new experiences and thinking about the future involve many of the same brain regions that support our ability to remember the past. If you want to know why, keep reading, below are a few interesting thoughts about this.

„Do you believe in time travel? Every time we remember something from the past or imagine something that will happen in the future, we engage in mental time travel. Scientists discovered that, whether we mentally travel back into the past or forward into the future, some of the same brain regions are activated. One of those regions is the hippocampus, a brain structure famous for its role in building long-term memories. Damage to the hippocampus causes memory problems, but it also impairs the ability to imagine future experiences. This brain connection between remembering the past and thinking about the future suggests that memory, planning, and decision-making may be deeply related. The ability to form memories allows us to reminisce about the past. But maybe the ability to form memories also evolved to allow us to think about and plan for the future.“