Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Empirical evaluation of mental time travel

Caroline Rabya1, Dean Alexisa1, Anthony Dickinsona1 and Nicola Claytona1

a1 Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3EB, United Kingdom.


Although the mental time travel (MTT) hypothesis provides a rich, conceptual framework, the absence of clear, empirically tractable, behavioural criteria for determining the capacity for MTT restricts its usefulness in comparative research. Examples of empirical criteria for evaluating MTT in animals are given. We also question the authors' evaluation of semantic foresight and their even-handedness in assessing human and nonhuman behaviour.

Related Articles

  • The evolution of foresight: What is mental time travel, and is it unique to humans?