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Memory affects ability to imagine

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As older people’s memory fades, so does their ability to imagine future scenarios. A Harvard University study, published in Psychological Science, looked at the correlation between episodic memory and the capacity for imagination and found they are related.

Researchers, using a technique in which young and older participants responded to randomly selected cue words with past and future scenarios, found that the older adults “displayed a significant reduction in the [retention] of internal episodic details to describe both past memories and imagined future events.” The findings raise new questions about the link between memory deficits and other types of memory, too.