“So, basically, there are parts of the brain that control how we plan for the future and in many ways imagine our future based on past and present experience …. What’s interesting about memory of the future is that it relies on those parts of the brain that have been shown to be negatively affected by abuse of drugs and alcohol.” (Daddow, 2010)
Daddow comments on how many of the participants in the RSA study who have struggled with addiction are often unable to provide answers about where they see themselves in the future. She cites work by D.H. Ingvar who describes how “memory of the future” is connected to certain parts of the brain.
This is an interesting connection as, from a service provider perspective, we know how important it is for individuals with addictions to have hope, expectancy, future-orientation, whatever you want to call it. Ingvar’s work suggests that sometimes imagining a future beyond the present might be more difficult than we think.