Book Chapter

The Evolution of Episodic Cognition



Martin-Ordas G (2022) The Evolution of Episodic Cognition. In: Shwartz B & Beran M (eds.) Primate Cognitive Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 291-313.

Mental time travel involves remembering personal past events (i.e., episodic memory) and thinking about future ones (i.e., future thinking). Despite empirical evidence showing that animals might be capable of mental time travel, some still remain skeptical about this issue. The aim in this chapter will be to reflect on the concept of episodic memory and future thinking as well as on the experimental approaches used in comparative psychology to study these abilities. A critical analysis of both the conceptualization of mental time travel and the experimental paradigms will be provided. I will finish by questioning the extent to which the sense of past has been addressed in this type of research and by suggesting lines of future research.

Publication date31/12/2022
Publication date online28/07/2022
PublisherCambridge University Press
Place of publicationCambridge

People (1)


Dr Gema Martin-Ordas

Dr Gema Martin-Ordas

Senior Lecturer, Psychology