Felipe De Brigard

Felipe De Brigard
Duke University | DU · Department of Philosophy

PhD

About

113
Publications
31,006
Reads
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1,701
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2013 - present
Duke University
Position
  • Research Assistant
July 2011 - July 2013
Harvard University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
August 2005 - May 2011
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (113)
Article
When comparing the roles of the lightning strike and the dry climate in causing the forest fire, one might think that the lightning strike is more of a cause than the dry climate, or one might think that the lightning strike completely caused the fire while the dry conditions did not cause it at all. Psychologists and philosophers have long debated...
Article
The initial waves of the coronavirus pandemic amplified feelings of depression, psychological fatigue and pessimism for the future. Past research suggests that nostalgia helps to repair negative moods by boosting current and future-oriented positive affect, thereby strengthening psychological resilience. Accordingly, the present study investigated...
Article
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Judgments of blame for others are typically sensitive to what an agent knows and desires. However, when people act negligently, they do not know what they are doing and do not desire the outcomes of their negligence. How, then, do people attribute blame for negligent wrongdoing? We propose that people attribute blame for negligent wrongdoing based...
Article
Full-text available
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease characterized by widespread white matter lesions in the brain and spinal cord. In addition to well-characterized motor deficits, MS results in cognitive impairments in several domains, notably in episodic autobiographical memory. Recent studies have also revealed that patients with MS exhibit deficit...
Preprint
Progress in scientific disciplines is often accompanied by the standardization of terminology and nomenclature. Network neuroscience, as applied at the level of macro-scale organization of the brain, has emerged over the past decade from interdisciplinary collaborations. The field is only beginning to confront the challenges associated with develop...
Article
The intrinsic functional organization of the brain changes into older adulthood. Age differences are observed at multiple spatial scales, from global reductions in modularity and segregation of distributed brain systems, to network-specific patterns of dedifferentiation. Whether dedifferentiation reflects an inevitable, global shift in brain functi...
Article
On the 50th anniversary of Tulving’s introduction of the celebrated distinction between episodic and semantic memory, it seems more than fitting to revisit his proposal in light of recent conceptual and methodological advances in the field. This Special Issue of Memory & Cognition brings together researchers doing cutting-edge work at the intersect...
Article
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The desire to engage in waterpipe tobacco smoking (WTS) may occur when smokers and nonsmokers conjure positive mental simulations of WTS. However, effects of these simulations on desire to smoke waterpipe tobacco and potential mediators are unexplored. This research addressed these effects among young adult waterpipe tobacco smokers and nonsmokers....
Article
Full-text available
Aversive autobiographical memories sometimes prompt maladaptive emotional responses and contribute to affective dysfunction in anxiety and depression. One way to regulate the impact of such memories is to create a downward counterfactual thought–a mental simulation of how the event could have been worse–to put what occurred in a more positive light...
Article
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Multivariate pattern analysis, or MVPA, has become one of the most popular analytic methods in cognitive neuroscience. Since its inception, MVPA has been heralded as offering much more than regular univariate analyses, for—we are told—it not only can tell us which brain regions are engaged while processing particular stimuli, but also which pattern...
Preprint
The human capacity for causal judgment has long been thought to depend on an ability to consider counterfactual alternatives: the lightning strike caused the forest fire because had it not struck, the forest fire would not have ensued. To accommodate psychological effects on causal judgment, a range of recent accounts of causal judgment have propos...
Article
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Prospective memory (PM) enables people to remember to complete important tasks in the future. Failing to do so can result in consequences of varying severity. Here, we investigated how PM error-consequence severity impacts the neural processing of relevant cues for triggering PM and the ramification of that processing on the associated prospective...
Article
Positions of power involving moral decision-making are often held by older adults (OAs). However, little is known about age differences in moral decision-making and the intrinsic organization of the aging brain. In this study, younger adults (YAs; n = 117, Mage = 22.11) and OAs (n = 82, Mage = 67.54) made decisions in hypothetical moral dilemmas an...
Article
Extant research has shown that previously acquired categorical knowledge affects recognition memory, and that differences in category learning strategies impact classification accuracy. However, it is unknown whether different learning strategies also have downstream effects on subsequent recognition memory. The present study investigates the effec...
Article
In four studies, we investigated the role of remembering, reflecting on, and mutating personal past moral transgressions to learn from those moral mistakes and to form intentions for moral improvement. Participants reported having ruminated on their past wrongdoings, particularly their more severe transgressions, and they reported having frequently...
Article
Normative ethical theories and religious traditions offer general moral principles for people to follow. These moral principles are typically meant to be fixed and rigid, offering reliable guides for moral judgment and decision-making. In two preregistered studies, we found consistent evidence that agreement with general moral principles shifted de...
Article
People frequently entertain counterfactual thoughts, or mental simulations about alternative ways the world could have been. But the perceived plausibility of those counterfactual thoughts varies widely. The current article interfaces research in the philosophy and semantics of counterfactual statements with the psychology of mental simulations, an...
Preprint
Full-text available
The intrinsic network architecture of the brain is continuously shaped by biological and behavioral factors from younger to older adulthood. Differences in functional networks can reveal how a lifetime of learning and lived experience can alter large-scale neurophysiological dynamics, offering a powerful lens into brain and cognitive aging. Quantif...
Chapter
We argue that research in cognitive neuroscience can contribute meaningfully to some normative theorizing. To make our case, we develop one instance where ethical inquiry progressed through empirical research into the computational basis of decision-making. From this, we draw some general considerations about the kinds of normative inquiry where re...
Preprint
Full-text available
When asking if lightning caused the forest fire, one might think that the lightning is more of a cause than the dry climate (i.e., it is a graded cause) or they might instead think that the lightning strike completely caused the fire while the dry conditions did not cause it at all (i.e., it is a binary cause). Psychologists and philosophers have l...
Chapter
In the last two decades, philosophy of neuroscience has predominantly focused on explanation. Indeed, it has been argued that mechanistic models are the standards of explanatory success in neuroscience over, among other things, topological models. However, explanatory power is only one virtue of a scientific model. Another is its predictive power....
Article
Full-text available
People more frequently select norm‐violating factors, relative to norm‐conforming ones, as the cause of some outcome. Until recently, this abnormal‐selection effect has been studied using retrospective vignette‐based paradigms. We use a novel set of video stimuli to investigate this effect for prospective causal judgments—that is, judgments about t...
Article
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People seem more divided than ever before over social and political issues, entrenched in their existing beliefs and unwilling to change them. Empirical research on mechanisms driving this resistance to belief change has focused on a limited set of well-known, charged, contentious issues and has not accounted for deliberation over reasons and argum...
Article
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Counterfactual thinking (CFT), or simulating alternative versions of occurred events, is a common psychological strategy people use to process events in their lives. However, CFT is also a core component of ruminative thinking that contributes to psychopathology. Though prior studies have tried to distinguish adaptive from maladaptive CFT, our stud...
Article
Full-text available
Retrieving autobiographical memories induces a natural tendency to mentally simulate alternate versions of past events, either by reconstructing the perceptual details of the originally experienced perspective or the conceptual information of what actually occurred. Here we examined whether the episodic system recruited during imaginative experienc...
Article
People tend to believe that they truly are morally good, and yet they commit moral transgressions with surprising frequency in their everyday lives. To explain this phenomenon, some theorists have suggested that people remember their moral transgressions with fewer details, lower vivacity, and less clarity, relative to their morally good deeds and...
Article
During the first half of the twentieth century, many philosophers of memory opposed the postulation of memory traces based on the claim that a satisfactory account of remembering need not include references to causal processes involved in recollection. However, in 1966, an influential paper by Martin and Deutscher showed that causal claims are inde...
Preprint
Full-text available
People more frequently select norm-violating factors, relative to norm- conforming ones, as the cause of some outcome. Until recently, this abnormal-selection effect has been studied using only retrospective vignette-based paradigms. In within-participants designs, we use a novel set of videos to investigate this effect for prospective causal judgm...
Article
There is a widespread belief that morally good traits and qualities are particularly central to psychological constructions of personal identity. People have a strong tendency to believe that they truly are morally good. We suggest that autobiographical memories of past events involving moral actions may inform how we come to believe that we are mo...
Article
Hoerl & McCormack (H&M) propose a two-system account of temporal cognition. We suggest that, following other classic proposals where cognitive systems are putatively independent, H&M's two-system hypothesis should, at a minimum, involve (1) a difference in the nature of the representations upon which each system operates, and (2) a difference in th...
Article
Full-text available
A longstanding tradition in philosophy distinguishes between knowthatand know-how. This traditional “anti-intellectualist” view is soentrenched in folk psychology that it is often invoked in supportof an allegedly equivalent distinction between explicit and implicitmemory, derived from the so-called “standard model of memory.”In the last two decade...
Article
Full-text available
Most people believe they are morally good, and this belief plays an integral role in constructions of personal identity. Yet people commit moral transgressions with surprising frequency in everyday life. In this article, we characterize two mechanisms involving autobiographical memory that are utilized to foster a belief in a morally good self in t...
Preprint
Full-text available
People often reason about omissions. One line of research shows that people can distinguish between the semantics of omissive causes and omissive enabling conditions: for instance, not flunking out of college enabled you (but didn’t cause you) to graduate. Another line of work shows that people rely on the normative status of omissive events in inf...
Preprint
People's causal judgments are susceptible to the action effect, whereby they judge actions to be more causal than inactions. We offer a new explanation for this effect, the counterfactual explanation: people judge actions to be more causal than inactions because they are more inclined to consider the counterfactual alternatives to actions than to c...
Preprint
Full-text available
People’s causal judgments are susceptible to the action effect, whereby they judge actions to be more causal than inactions. We offer a new explanation for this effect, the counterfactual explanation: people judge actions to be more causal than inactions because they are more inclined to consider the counterfactual alternatives to actions than to c...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we focus on whether and to what extent we judge that people are responsible for the consequences of their forgetfulness. We ran a series of behavioral studies to measure judgments of responsibility for the consequences of forgetfulness. Our results show that we are disposed to hold others responsible for some of their forgetfulness....
Article
Aging is often accompanied by associative memory changes, although their precise nature remains unclear. This study examines how recognition of item position in the context of associative memory differs between younger and older adults. Participants studied word pairs (A–B, C–D) and were later tested with intact (A–B), reversed (D–C), recombined (A...
Article
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Many philosophers claim that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’. In light of recent empirical evidence, however, some skeptics conclude that philosophers should stop assuming the principle unconditionally. Streumer, however, does not simply assume the principle’s truth; he provides arguments for it. In this article, we argue that his arguments fail to support t...
Article
Having positive moral traits is central to one’s sense of self, and people generally are motivated to maintain a positive view of the self in the present. But it remains unclear how people foster a positive, morally good view of the self in the present. We suggest that recollecting and reflecting on moral and immoral actions from the personal past...
Article
Our tendency to engage in episodic counterfactual thinking—namely, imagining alternative ways in which past personal events could have occurred but did not—is ubiquitous. Although widely studied by cognitive and social psychologists, this autobiographically based variety of counterfactual thought has been connected only recently to research on the...
Article
The neural reuse framework developed primarily by Michael Anderson proposes that brain regions are involved in multiple and diverse cognitive tasks and that brain regions flexibly and dynamically interact in different combinations to carry out cognitive functioning. We argue that the evidence cited by Anderson and others falls short of supporting t...
Article
Full-text available
On pages 263, 265, and 266, incorrect degrees of freedom and t values were reported. The statistical conclusions are not affected by these reporting errors, but the corrected values are shown below.
Article
Episodic counterfactual thoughts (CFT) and autobiographical memories (AM) involve the reactivation and recombination of episodic memory components into mental simulations. Upon reactivation, memories become labile and prone to modification. Thus, reactivating AM in the context of mentally generating CFT may provide an opportunity for editing proces...
Article
Counterfactual thinking (CFT) is the process of mentally simulating alternative versions of known facts. In the past decade, cognitive neuroscientists have begun to uncover the neural underpinnings of CFT, particularly episodic CFT (eCFT), which activates regions in the default network (DN) also activated by episodic memory (eM) recall. However, th...
Article
In a recent study, Kouchaki and Gino (2016) suggest that memory for unethical actions is impaired, regardless of whether such actions are real or imagined. However, as we argue in the current study, their claim that people develop “unethical amnesia” confuses two distinct and dissociable memory deficits: one affecting the phenomenology of rememberi...
Preprint
In a recent paper, Kouchaki and Gino (2016) suggest that memory for unethical actions is impaired, regardless of whether such actions are real or imagined. However, as we argue in the current paper, their claim that people develop “unethical amnesia” confuses two distinct and dissociable memory deficits: one affecting the phenomenology of rememberi...
Chapter
Despite Dennett's vast scholarship, he seemed to only have directly addressed the topic of memory in a relatively unknown coauthored article published in a somewhat obscure volume. The current chapter attempts to reconstruct the ideas from this old article, and argues that it offers a viable and coherent view of episodic memory with substantial emp...
Article
Three serious challenges to Mahr & Csibra's (M&C's) proposal are presented. First, we argue that the epistemic attitude that they claim is unique to remembering also applies to some forms of imaginative simulations that aren't memories. Second, we argue that their account cannot accommodate critical neuropsychological evidence. Finally, we argue th...
Article
We begin by characterizing Dennett’s “homuncular functionalist” view of the mind, as described in his early work. We then contrast that view with the one outlined in From Bacteria to Bach and Back. We argue that recent changes in Dennett’s view have produced tension in the way he conceives of functional decompositions. Functional decompositions bas...
Preprint
While many philosophers argue that making and revising moral decisions ought to be a matter of deliberating over reasons, the extent to which the consideration of reasons informs people’s moral decisions and induces them to change their initial decisions remains unclear. Here, after making an initial decision in two-option moral dilemmas, participa...
Article
Full-text available
Muchos psiquiatras se encuentran constantemente con pacientes cuyos síntomas incluyen trastornos o alteraciones de la conciencia. Infortunadamente, el significado del término conciencia es poco claro. Este artículo hace un repaso sistemático de varios significados atribuidos a dicho término, así como de diversos problemasfilosóficos asociados. Asim...
Article
Although many philosophers argue that making and revising moral decisions ought to be a matter of deliberating over reasons, the extent to which the consideration of reasons informs people's moral decisions and prompts them to change their decisions remains unclear. Here, after making an initial decision in 2-option moral dilemmas, participants exa...
Article
When people revisit past autobiographical events they often imagine alternative ways in which such events could have occurred. Often these episodic counterfactual thoughts (eCFT) are momentary and fleeting, but sometimes they are simulated frequently and repeatedly. However, little is known about the neural differences between frequently versus inf...
Article
Full-text available
People sometimes explain behavior by appealing to an essentialist concept of the self, often referred to as the true self. Existing studies suggest that people tend to believe that the true self is morally virtuous; that is deep inside, every person is motivated to behave in morally good ways. Is this belief particular to individuals with optimisti...
Article
The notion of cognitive system is widely used in explanations in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. Traditional approaches define cognitive systems in an agent-relative way, that is, via top-down functional decomposition that assumes a cognitive agent as starting point. The extended cognition movement challenged that approach by questioning the...
Article
Although extant evidence suggests that many neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying episodic past, future, and counterfactual thinking overlap, recent results have uncovered differences among these three processes. However, the extent to which there may be age-related differences in the phenomenological characteristics associated with episodic p...
Article
People maintain a positive identity in at least two ways: They evaluate themselves more favorably than other people, and they judge themselves to be better now than they were in the past. Both strategies rely on autobiographical memories. The authors investigate the role of autobiographical memories of lying and emotional harm in maintaining a posi...
Article
Episodic counterfactual thoughts-imagined alternative ways in which personal past events might have occurred-are frequently accompanied by intense emotions. Here, participants recollected positive and negative autobiographical memories and then generated better and worse episodic counterfactual events from those memories. Our results suggest that t...
Article
In the past decade, philosophical and psychological research on people's beliefs about free will and responsibility has skyrocketed. For the most part, these vignette-based studies have exclusively focused on participants' judgments of the causal history of the events leading up to an agent's action and considerations about what the agent could hav...
Article
Counterfactual thinking involves imagining hypothetical alternatives to reality. Philosopher David Lewis (1973, 1979) argued that people estimate the subjective plausibility that a counterfactual event might have occurred by comparing an imagined possible world in which the counterfactual statement is true against the current, actual world in which...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has shown that prior knowledge structures or schemas affect recognition memory. However, since the acquisition of schemas occurs over prolonged periods of time, few paradigms allow the direct manipulation of schema acquisition to study their effect on memory performance. Recently, a number of parallelisms in recognition memory bet...
Article
Most philosophers assume that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’, and most of them hold that this principle is true not only universally but also analytically or conceptually. Some skeptics deny this principle, although they often admit some related one. In this article, we show how new empirical evidence bolsters the skeptics’ arguments. We then defend the ske...
Article
People generally accept that there is causation by omission—that the omission of some events cause some related events. But this acceptance elicits the selection problem, or the difficulty of explaining the selection of a particular omissive cause or class of causes from the causal conditions. Some theorists contend that dependence theories of caus...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, psychologists have explored moral concepts including obligation, blame, and ability. While little empirical work has studied the relationships among these concepts, philosophers have widely assumed such a relationship in the principle that “ought” implies “can,” which states that if someone ought to do something, then they must be able to...
Article
Recent evidence demonstrates remarkable overlap in the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying episodic memory, episodic future thinking, and episodic counterfactual thinking. However, the extent to which the phenomenological characteristics associated with these mental simulations change as a result of ageing remains largely unexplored. The cur...
Article
Neural reuse allegedly stands in stark contrast against a modular view of the brain. However, the development of unique modularity algorithms in network science has provided the means to identify functionally cooperating, specialized subsystems in a way that remains consistent with the neural reuse view and offers a set of rigorous tools to fully e...
Article
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Thinking about what-ifs isn't just an exercise in whimsy. It helps us learn from our experiences—both to prepare for the future and to make sense of the past
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The Integrative Memory Model offers a strong foundation upon which to build successful strategies for clinical intervention. The next challenge is to figure out which cognitive strategies are more likely to bring about successful and beneficial modifications of reactivated memories during therapy. In this commentary we suggest that exercising emoti...
Article
Back in the 1980s and 1990s there was a lively debate in the philosophy of mind between realists and anti-realists about propositional attitudes. However, as I argue in this paper, both sides of this debate agreed on a basic assumption: That the truth (or falsehood) of our ascription of propositional attitudes has direct ontological implications fo...
Book
What are the grounds for the distinction between the mental and the physical? What is it the relation between ascribing mental states to an organism and understanding its behavior? Are animals and complex systems vehicles of inner evolutionary environments? Is there a difference between personal and sub-personal level processes in the brain? Answer...
Chapter
Full-text available
Each edition of this classic reference has proved to be a benchmark in the developing field of cognitive neuroscience. The fifth edition of The Cognitive Neurosciences continues to chart new directions in the study of the biological underpinnings of complex cognition -- the relationship between the structural and physiological mechanisms of the ner...
Chapter
Each edition of this classic reference has proved to be a benchmark in the developing field of cognitive neuroscience. The fifth edition of The Cognitive Neurosciences continues to chart new directions in the study of the biological underpinnings of complex cognition -- the relationship between the structural and physiological mechanisms of the ner...
Chapter
Each edition of this classic reference has proved to be a benchmark in the developing field of cognitive neuroscience. The fifth edition of The Cognitive Neurosciences continues to chart new directions in the study of the biological underpinnings of complex cognition -- the relationship between the structural and physiological mechanisms of the ner...