ArticleLiterature Review

Episodic Simulation of Future Events: Concepts, Data, and Applications

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Abstract

This article focuses on the neural and cognitive processes that support imagining or simulating future events, a topic that has recently emerged in the forefront of cognitive neuroscience. We begin by considering concepts of simulation from a number of areas of psychology and cognitive neuroscience in order to place our use of the term in a broader context. We then review neuroimaging, neuropsychological, and cognitive studies that have examined future-event simulation and its relation to episodic memory. This research supports the idea that simulating possible future events depends on much of the same neural machinery, referred to here as a core network, as does remembering past events. After discussing several theoretical accounts of the data, we consider applications of work on episodic simulation for research concerning clinical populations suffering from anxiety or depression. Finally, we consider other aspects of future-oriented thinking that we think are related to episodic simulation, including planning, prediction, and remembering intentions. These processes together comprise what we have termed "the prospective brain," whose primary function is to use past experiences to anticipate future events.

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... Prior interventions on risk estimation have shown some success, although effect sizes are typically small and weaken over time (38,39). A separate line of research has demonstrated that episodic simulation, or imagination, of the downstream outcomes of choices can enhance decision making, including selfregulation (40)(41)(42)(43)(44). The rich, personalized mental imagery generated during episodic simulation may drive these effects by increasing the salience of an intervention (44)(45)(46) and supporting the formation of "gist" representations that persist over time ...
... A separate line of research has demonstrated that episodic simulation, or imagination, of the downstream outcomes of choices can enhance decision making, including selfregulation (40)(41)(42)(43)(44). The rich, personalized mental imagery generated during episodic simulation may drive these effects by increasing the salience of an intervention (44)(45)(46) and supporting the formation of "gist" representations that persist over time ...
... We expected that imagining the potential consequences of pandemic-related risky decisions would increase the efficacy of our intervention, especially if the scenario included personalized elements. Drawing on past studies (44,46,57), we predicted that this imagination exercise would enhance the salience of subsequent numerical information and thus boost learning during the subsequent risk estimation task. Therefore, we randomly assigned participants to receive one of three versions (personal, impersonal, unrelated) of the episodic simulation task (i.e., guided imagination). ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic reached staggering new peaks during a global resurgence more than a year after the crisis began. Although public health guidelines initially helped to slow the spread of disease , widespread pandemic fatigue and prolonged harm to financial stability and mental well-being contributed to this resurgence. In the late stage of the pandemic, it became clear that new interventions were needed to support long-term behavior change. Here, we examined subjective perceived risk about COVID-19 and the relationship between perceived risk and engagement in risky behaviors. In study 1 (n = 303), we found that subjective perceived risk was likely inaccurate but predicted compliance with public health guidelines. In study 2 (n = 735), we developed a multifaceted intervention designed to realign perceived risk with actual risk. Participants completed an episodic simulation task; we expected that imagining a COVID-related scenario would increase the salience of risk information and enhance behavior change. Immediately following the epi-sodic simulation, participants completed a risk estimation task with individualized feedback about local viral prevalence. We found that information prediction error, a measure of surprise, drove beneficial change in perceived risk and willingness to engage in risky activities. Imagining a COVID-related scenario beforehand enhanced the effect of prediction error on learning. Importantly, our intervention produced lasting effects that persisted after a 1-to 3-wk delay. Overall, we describe a fast and feasible online intervention that effectively changed beliefs and intentions about risky behaviors.
... The capacity to form predictions about the world is seen as a core function of the visual brain [1][2][3] . These predictions allow us to catch flying balls and dodge fast moving projectiles. ...
... Advantages for predicting upright shot outcomes were associated with increased ball tracking accuracy and increases in alpha-band activity in occipital brain regions. We believe participants were better able to predict shot outcomes, and track moving balls, in upright than in inverted videos because upright presentations accord with peoples' expectations [1][2][3][4] . Our work would therefore build on previous findings suggesting the control of eye movements, while viewing or participating in sport, relies on the formation of an accurate predictive model of the visual environment 4,6,9 . ...
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Prediction is a core function of the human visual system. Contemporary research suggests the brain builds predictive internal models of the world to facilitate interactions with our dynamic environment. Here, we wanted to examine the behavioural and neurological consequences of disrupting a core property of peoples’ internal models, using naturalistic stimuli. We had people view videos of basketball and asked them to track the moving ball and predict jump shot outcomes, all while we recorded eye movements and brain activity. To disrupt people’s predictive internal models, we inverted footage on half the trials, so dynamics were inconsistent with how movements should be shaped by gravity. When viewing upright videos people were better at predicting shot outcomes, at tracking the ball position, and they had enhanced alpha-band oscillatory activity in occipital brain regions. The advantage for predicting upright shot outcomes scaled with improvements in ball tracking and occipital alpha-band activity. Occipital alpha-band activity has been linked to selective attention and spatially-mapped inhibitions of visual brain activity. We propose that when people have a more accurate predictive model of the environment, they can more easily parse what is relevant, allowing them to better target irrelevant positions for suppression—resulting in both better predictive performance and in neural markers of inhibited information processing.
... We can generate representations of past and future events (e.g., , of merely possible and fictional events (e.g., Hassabis et al., 2007), and even 'vicarious' events that were experienced by other people (e.g., Pillemer et al., 2015). All of these representations are 'episodic' in the sense that they represent events and seem to rely on a perhaps unitary capacity for 'episodic simulation' (Addis, 2018;Schacter, et al., 2008): a capacity to mentally generate imaginative constructions of events. 1 Two particularly prominent aspects of such episodic representations are their temporal orientation or temporality (i.e. their orientation towards the future or the past; Tulving, 2002) and their mnemicity (i.e. ...
... McDonough & Gallo, 2010;Addis et al., 2009). This 1 The term 'episodic simulation' has been used and defined in various ways, most often as applying to the imaginative construction of hypothetical mental events, and in the context of discussions of prospection, hypothetical future events (for discussion, see Schacter et al. 2008, andSzpunar, et al., 2014). However, episodic simulation can also be used in a broader sense to include episodic memories, in line with Bartlett's (1932, p.213) early characterization of memory as 'an imaginative construction or reconstruction'. ...
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Human beings regularly "mentally travel" to past and future times in memory and imagination. In theory, whether an event is remembered or imagined (its "mnemicity") underspecifies whether it is oriented toward the past or the future (its "temporality"). However, it remains unclear to what extent the temporal orientation of such episodic simulations is cognitively represented separately from their status as memory or imagination. To address this question, we investigated to what extent episodic simulations are distinguishable in recall by virtue of both temporal orientation and mnemicity. In three experiments (N = 360), participants were asked to generate and later recall events differing along the lines of temporal orientation (past/future) and mnemicity (remembered/imagined). Across all of our experiments, we found that mnemicity and temporality each contributed to participants' ability to discriminate different types of event simulations in recall. However, participants were also consistently more likely to confuse in recall event simulations that shared the same temporal orientation rather than the same mnemicity. These results show that the temporal orientation of episodic simulations can be cognitively represented separately from their mnemicity and have implications for debates about the structure of episodic representations as well as the role of temporality in this structure. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
... To this end, this study aims to describe the development of online group career counseling intervention with a group of unemployed young adults implemented during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Italy (April 2020) and present the preliminary qualitative and quantitative analysis of its validity and effectiveness. Specifically, within the Life Design for an inclusive and sustainable future paradigm, we hypothesized that unemployed young adults engaged in the online group career counseling intervention would evidence, at the post-test, higher levels than the pre-test of: (a) career adaptability, a psycho-social construct that consists of four problem-solving and coping strategies or resources that help to cope with age-appropriate developmental tasks and transitions (concern, control, curiosity, and career confidence; Savickas & Porfeli, 2012); (b) resilience, the ability to quickly regain the energy and strength that are needed to take action when facing challenges that are threatening one's future plan (Masten & Obradović, 2006); (c) future orientation, that is the propensity to think possible futures related to behavioral flexibility and more effective planning for achieving goals (Schacter et al., 2008);(d) propensity to identify inclusive and sustainable actions for the future, able to support people in the construction of the future and guarantee their rights to participate in career contexts increasing a long-term vision that looks at individual, collective, and environmental well-being . ...
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An online group of career counseling for unemployed young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic was developed. Twelve participants were involved in online group career counseling intervention, based on the Life Design for an inclusive and sustainable future. Results indicated at post-test on increased scores on career adaptability, resilience, future orientation, and propensity to identify inclusive and sustainable actions for the future than pre-test. Overall, the online group career counseling intervention effectively promoted particular aspects of young adults' life design for an inclusive e-sustainable future.
... This is important to note, because current cognitive therapies specifically rely on the use of goal-directed, intentional imagination in which actively shaping the content of an imagined scenario to achieve an end goal itself is the task 10 (for a review see 5 ). Examples for such goal-directed creative imagination tasks include habituating to an imagined adverse stimulus during exposure therapy 27 , changing the sequence of events during imagery rescripting therapy 8 , or mentally simulating a situation in order to prepare 28,29 . How to theoretically conceptualise the relationship between spontaneous mind-wandering and directed imagination is currently unclear. ...
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Directed, intentional imagination is pivotal for self-regulation in the form of escapism and therapies for a wide variety of mental health conditions, such anxiety and stress disorders, as well as phobias. Clinical application in particular benefits from increasing our understanding of imagination, as well as non-invasive means of influencing it. To investigate imagination, this study draws from the prior observation that music can influence the imagined content during non-directed mind-wandering, as well as the finding that relative orientation within time and space is retained in imagination. One hundred participants performed a directed imagination task that required watching a video of a figure travelling towards a barely visible landmark, and then closing their eyes and imagining a continuation of the journey. During each imagined journey, participants either listened to music or silence. After the imagined journeys, participants reported vividness, the imagined time passed and distance travelled, as well as the imagined content. Bayesian mixed effects models reveal strong evidence that vividness, sentiment, as well imagined time passed and distances travelled, are influenced by the music, and show that aspects of these effects can be modelled through features such as tempo. The results highlight music’s potential to support therapies such as Exposure Therapy and Imagery Rescripting, which deploy directed imagination as a clinical tool.
... It is not surprising that both processes draw on input from similar brain regions, as evidenced by human neuroimaging studies reporting that frontal cortices and the hippocampus are activated during both memory retrieval and planning or imagination. Individuals with memory impairments report difficulty in planning and imagination (Hassabis et al., 2007) and when asked to imagine future possible scenarios, the same cortical and hippocampal regions active during memory retrieval are active during imagination (Schacter et al., 2008;Svoboda et al., 2006). It has therefore been theorized that previously formed memoriesencoded by the frontal cortices and hippocampus -provide the building blocks that are used to imagine upcoming events (Buckner, 2010). ...
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Envisioning the future is intuitively linked to our ability to remember the past. Within the memory system, substantial work has demonstrated the involvement of the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus in representing the past and present. Recent data shows that both the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus encode future trajectories, which are segregated in time by alternating cycles of the theta rhythm. Here, we discuss how information is temporally organized by these brain regions supported by the medial septum, nucleus reuniens, and parahippocampal regions. Finally, we highlight a brain circuit that we predict is essential for the temporal segregation of future scenarios.
... As we will see below, these mental states are associated with the activation of a number of anatomical structures like the default mode network (DMN) and the central executive network (EN) (Christoff et al., 2009). The significance of these states extends to, among others: memory function, autobiography, simulation of the future, and interpersonal affiliation (Buckner et al., 2005;Buckner & Carroll, 2007;Schacter et al., 2008;Spreng et al., 2009). We wish to present this scientific context to provide a deeper understanding of a proposed neuroscience basis of FA. ...
Article
Free association is still widely accepted as a fundamental component of psychoanalysis. However, despite notable advances in cognitive science, only a limited number of studies of free association by means of neurological methods exist. This review surveys a representative sample of neuroimaging studies on free association available to this date. Neuroimaging findings on free association, mind wandering, meditation, and other forms of spontaneous thought process seem to share significant commonalities. Free association is also examined in view of the literature on free energy, predictive coding, error prediction, and down-regulation of the default mode network. In this sense, the authors propose that free association and the role of the default mode network and the executive network are part of a complex process of adaptive reshaping of thought and autobiographical memory. The authors further propose that FA is an internally energized emotional cognitive mobility that taps into all forms of memory (episodic, implicit, embodied unformulated) and facilitates memory reconsolidation and simulation of future possibilities. In addition, creativity, as an evolutionary potential to form predictions and paradigm shifts, is presented in the context of adaptation and survival. Seen in this context, free association can lead to a creative therapeutic change in treatment that favors introspective, ontoethical, and social adaptation. Further investigation of free association by means of neuroscientific studies will need to include more specific parameters that closely mimic the experience of free association during psychoanalysis.
... The relationship between imagination and Mental Time Travel has been extensively investigated (Taylor, 2013;Clayton and Wilkins, 2017), and the ability to imagine has been suggested to be an adaptation that evolved to facilitate the prediction of the consequences of our actions (Suddendorf and Busby, 2005;Tulving, 2005). Indeed, the Constructive Episodic Simulation hypothesis (Schacter et al., 2007(Schacter et al., , 2008(Schacter et al., , 2012 argues that episodic memory evolved with the future in mind: rather than preserving an accurate record of what happened, the episodic memory system uses information from past experience to simulate a series of future scenarios, which allows us to juxtapose a number of imagined alternatives to predict and plan for those possible eventualities. ...
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Engaging in the art of creating and telling stories is a defining behaviour of humankind. Humans have been sharing stories with each other, with and without words, since the dawn of recorded history, but the cognitive foundations of the behaviour can be traced deeper into our past. The emergence of stories can be strongly linked to Mental Time Travel (the ability to recall the past and imagine the future) and plays a key role in our ability to communicate past, present and future scenarios with other individuals, within and beyond our lifetimes. Stories are products engraved within the concept of time, constructed to elucidate the past experiences of the self, but designed with the future in mind, thus imparting lessons of such experiences to the receiver. By being privy to the experiences of others, humans can imagine themselves in a similar position to the protagonist of the story, thus mentally learning from an experience they might have never encountered other than in the mind's eye. Evolutionary Psychology investigates how the engagement in artistic endeavours by our ancestors in the Pleistocene granted them an advantage when confronted with obstacles that challenged their survival or reproductive fitness and questions whether art is an adaptation of the human mind or a spandrel of other cognitive adaptations. However, little attention has been placed on the cognitive abilities that might have been imperative for the development of art. Here, we examine the relationship between art, storytelling, Mental Time Travel and Theory of Mind (i.e., the ability to attribute mental states to others). We suggest that Mental Time Travel played a key role in the development of storytelling because through stories, humans can fundamentally transcend their present condition, by being able to imagine different times, separate realities, and place themselves and others anywhere within the time space continuum. We argue that the development of a Theory of Mind also sparked storytelling practises in humans as a method of diffusing the past experiences of the self to others whilst enabling the receiver to dissociate between the past experiences of others and their own, and to understand them as lessons for a possible future. We propose that when artistic products rely on storytelling in form and function, they ought to be considered separate from other forms of art whose appreciation capitalise on our aesthetic preferences.
... This ability depends on 'episodic simulation', the capacity to generate imaginative constructions of events (for reviews see e.g. Addis, 2018Addis, , 2020Cheng, Werning, & Suddendorf, 2016;Michaelian, 2016;Schacter & Addis, 2020;Schacter, Addis, & Buckner, 2008). Such mental event representations figure in many cognitive capacities from discounting future rewards (Boyer, 2008;Bulley & Schacter, 2020) to causal reasoning (Gerstenberg, Goodman, Lagnado, & Tenenbaum, in press). ...
Article
A prominent feature of mental event (i.e. ‘episodic’) simulations is their temporal orientation: human adults can generate episodic representations directed towards the past or the future. Here, we investigated how the temporal orientation of imagined events relates to the contents of these events. Is there something intrinsically temporal about episodic contents? Or does their temporality rely on a distinct set of representations? In three experiments (N = 360), we asked participants to generate and later recall a series of imagined events differing in (1) location, (2) time of day, (3) temporal orientation, and (4) weekday. We then tested to what extent successful recall of episodic content (i.e. (1) and (2)) would predict recall of temporality and/or weekday information. Results showed that recall of temporal orientation was only weakly predicted by recall of episodic contents. Nonetheless, temporal orientation was more strongly predicted by content recall than weekday recall. This finding suggests that episodic simulations are unlikely to be intrinsically temporal in nature. Instead, similar to other forms of temporal information, temporal orientation might be determined from such contents by reconstructive post-retrieval processes. These results have implications for how the human ability to ‘mentally travel’ in time is cognitively implemented.
... Neuron 109, October 6, 2021 ª 2021 Elsevier Inc. 3071 ll deliberation can be facilitated by mental simulation of different scenarios featuring sequences of possible events (''episodes'') and potential outcomes in a process that cognitive neuroscientists refer to as ''episodic simulation'' (Schacter et al., 2008). During this process, networks of neurons in our brains are believed to simulate episodes based on the options available to us using a combination of imagination and memory from past experiences to help decide on the most favorable outcome. ...
Article
Hippocampal sharp-wave ripples (SWRs) have been proposed to support memory-based decision-making. A new study by Gillespie et al. (in this issue of Neuron) provides important new insights on how past experiences and future choices are reflected in neuronal activity during SWRs.
... 30,31 By drawing upon prior knowledge and experiences, mental imagery can amplify the anticipation of reward-related emotions. 32,33 Anticipation of the pleasant and rewarding consequences of future behavior, in turn, predicts reward motivation and reward-motivated behavior. [34][35][36] Indeed, it has been shown that simulating engagement in scheduled pleasant and rewarding activities via mental imagery can increase motivation to engage in these activities. ...
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Objectives: To shield vulnerable persons, particularly the eldery, during the Covid-19 pandemic governments around the world have adviced to use social distancing and self-isolation. Social isolation might put older adults at an increased risk for mental health problems such as depression. There is a need for brief, easy-accessible psychological treatments for depressive symptoms that can be delivered remotely. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy of telephone-delivered Behavioral Activation with Mental Imagery for the treatment of depressive symptoms in individuals 65 years and older living in isolation during the covid-19-pandemic. Methods: In this open-label pilot randomized clinical trial, N = 41 individuals aged 65 years or older with clinically significant symptoms of depression were randomly assigned to either a Behavioral Activation with Mental Imagery treatment condition, or an Attention-Assessment control condition delivered over the telephone over a four week period. Results: Depressive symptoms decreased more in the treatment condition compared to the control condition. At post treatment 2 out of 16 participants in the treatment condition met diagnostic criteria for depression compared to 9 out of 13 in the control condition. Most participants in the treatment condition were satisfied with the treatment and few adverse effects were observed. Conclusions: This pilot study suggests that behavioral activation with mental imagery delivered over the telephone is feasible, acceptable and potentially efficacious for the treatment of depressive symptoms in older individuals living in isolation. Replication in larger samples is needed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... People engage in mental time travel, which enables them to recollect their past and make projections about their future (Atance & O'Neill, 2001;D'Argembeau & Van Der Linden, 2004;Perrin & Michaelian, 2017;Schacter et al., , 2008Szpunar & McDermott, 2008). Research has shown that the neural mechanisms supporting episodic memory and future thinking are similar (e.g., Okuda et al., 2003;Szpunar et al., 2007), but more importantly memories and future thoughts are also conceptually intertwined, with events retrieved from the past possibly shaping the (re)construction of the future (Hassabis & Maguire, 2007). ...
Article
Although several studies have addressed the relationship between memories and future projections regarding personal events, only a few studies exist on collective past and future events, almost all with North American samples. In two studies with Turkish samples, we investigated the relationship between sociopolitical identity and collective past and future representations. In Study 1, we compared the most important past and future collective events generated by voters of the ruling and the main opposition parties. Participants reported the two most important public events in the last 70 years and two in the next 70 years for Turkey, and rated events' valence, centrality, and transitional impact. Past events were dominated by national political events whereas future events' themes were more varied. Past events were also more negative than future events, with the negativity of future events decreasing as their temporal distance from the present increased. Opposition voters rated both the past and the future events more negatively than ruling party voters. In Study 2, we tested whether the negativity for future events may be due to perceived sociopolitical status of ruling party voters. Participants reported events from Turkey's future and provided ratings of status and privilege. We replicated the reduced negativity of distant compared to near future projections, but subjective sense of privilege was not related to events' valence. Overall, we demonstrated that in highly polarized societies, sociopolitical identity can impact the perceived valence of collective mental time travel outputs, diverging from findings of similar responses among Democrats and Republicans in the USA context.
... As the Echelon example also illustrates, memories are not stored but storied. There is evidence suggesting we remember the past through narrative reconstruction and we imagine futures through the same mental systems and narrative capacities (Schacter et al., 2008); evoking what Suddendorf and Corballis have referred to as "mental time travel" (Suddendorf & Corballis, 1997;Suddendorf et al., 2009). ...
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Institutional decisions about the future, that matter, are usually made in a context of considerable uncertainty. Although the intention is success the possibility of failure must inevitably be present, whether recognized or not. The principal purposes of this paper are twofold. First, we argue that uncertainty contexts require that decisions to create the future are supported by a particular type of future oriented or foresight narrative which we call a conviction narrative. Its essential function is to combine available knowledge about how to achieve desired outcomes with the feeling that the selected action will achieve the aim. Second, we introduce two states, in which conviction may be achieved, Divided and Integrated, to argue that research into how conviction is achieved by individuals or institutions making decisions, can be an extremely promising and practical avenue for foresight studies, throwing light on several issues, particularly the oft-noted reluctance to change course and attachment to single stories of the future. The focus on the reality of uncertainty and the two states in which it can be met, can also enhance the research and practice of narrative foresight, through more systematic theorization of the role of emotion and ambivalence in narrative thought and in the processes through which future-focused narratives generate action under uncertainty.
... The default mode network (DMN) is a network of structurally and functionally connected brain regions that was first identified during "passive" states Raichle et al., 2001). Since its initial discovery, our conceptualization of the DMN has evolved over time; the DMN has now been linked with a range of higher-order cognitive processes such as thinking about oneself in the past and future (e.g., Buckner and Carroll, 2007;Schacter et al., 2008) and thinking about others (Amodio and Frith, 2006;Saxe et al., 2004). DMN activity has also been linked to ongoing spontaneous cognition or mind-wandering in general (Andrews-Hanna et al., 2010;Christoff et al., 2009;Mason et al., 2007). ...
Article
Individuals with bipolar disorder (BP) show abnormalities in the default mode network (DMN), a brain network active at rest and during self-referential cognition. In healthy individuals, the DMN is anti-correlated (strongly negatively correlated) with the task positive network (TPN), a brain network that is active during attention demanding tasks. Mindfulness has been linked to changes in DMN connectivity. We investigated the effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) versus supportive psychotherapy (SP) on the relationship between these two networks in individuals with BP. We identified differences in BOLD resting state DMN-TPN connectivity between healthy controls (HC; n=22) and individuals with DSM-IV BP before treatment (n=22) using a seed region in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), a key TPN node. We then explored changes in DMN-TPN connectivity after 12 weeks of MBCT or SP. Before treatment, BP individuals showed positively correlated activity and the HC group showed negatively correlated activity between the DLPFC and the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). After treatment, BP individuals who received MBCT showed negatively correlated DLPFC-PCC activity. BP individuals who received SP did not show a significant change. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy can restore the anti-correlation between the DMN and TPN in individuals with BP.
... The fragility of life and the reduction of life expectancy lead them to prioritize objectives, ideas, and content that afford them general satisfaction and that are pleasurable and rewarding. Other theories underscore older people's difficulty to recreate and imagine the future and argue that generating and processing positive future events requires less cognitive effort and less time than negative events (Newby-Clark and Ross, 2003;Schacter et al., 2008;Berntsen and Bohn, 2010), mainly because negative content is more complex to process than positive content (Labouvie-Vief et al., 2010). Finally, it is also proposed that older people focus on emotion regulation by implementing their cognitive control resources, such as activating inhibitory resource to block access to negative information Giebl et al., 2016;Marsh et al., 2019). ...
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This study aimed to determine whether the observed tendency to remember more positive than negative past events (positivity phenomena) also appears when recalling hypothetical events about the future. In this study, young, middle-aged, and older adults were presented with 28 statements about the future associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, half positive and half negative. In addition, half of these statements were endowed with personal implications while the other half had a more social connotations. Participants rated their agreement/disagreement with each statement and, after a distraction task, they recalled as many statements as possible. There was no difference in the agreement ratings between the three age groups, but the participants agreed with positive statements more than with negative ones and they identified more with statements of social content than of personal content. The younger and older individuals recalled more statements than the middle-aged people. More importantly, older participants recalled more positive than negative statements (positivity effect), and showed a greater tendency to turn negative statements into more positive or neutral ones (positivity bias). These findings showed that the positivity effect occurs in even such complex and situations as the present pandemic, especially in older adults. The results are discussed by reference to the notion of commission errors and false memories resulting from the activation of cognitive biases.
... Beyond emerging evidence for the impact of selfreferential episodic specificity inductions on past and future detail generation, little is known about the impact of such specificity inductions on other factors such as problem-solving. A particular feature of episodic future thinking is that it involves the recombination of information from memory which allows for the simulation of novel conditions or circumstances (Schacter et al. 2007(Schacter et al. , 2008. If future thinking is primed to be novel, then this might also enhance the ability to think about novel solutions or outcomes when considering future problems they could encounter. ...
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Episodic specificity inductions, involving brief training in recollecting episodic details, have been shown to improve subsequent performance on tasks involving remembering the past, imagining the future and problem solving. The current study examined if specificity inductions targeting self-referential past or future episodic thinking would have dissociable effects on generating past and future episodic detail and problem solving. Sixty-three participants were randomised to either a past self-referential or future self-referential episodic induction. All participants also completed a control task. Participants randomised to the self-referential future thinking induction generated more episodic details on past and future narrative tasks compared to a control task, whereas participants randomised to a self-referential past thinking induction showed similar performance to the control task. When examining within-group performance of participants randomised to the past or future induction, we found some evidence of dissociable effects of inductions on narrative generation tasks, but not on problem solving outcomes. Our findings suggest that self-referential inductions may be useful for increasing episodic specificity, but that the temporal distance and direction of the induction matters. We discuss our results in the context of the potential clinical utility of this approach for populations vulnerable to autobiographical memory disruption.
... Mentalizing about the unfair player exceeded that for the fair player, thus pointing to an enhanced saliency of deception in human interaction as compared to mutual cooperation, which is in line with evolutionary considerations (Cosmides and Tooby, 2000). Since the function of memory retrieval is not only to recall the past but to construct flexible models of the future (Schacter et al., 2008), higher activity in the mentalizing network for unfair than fair players seems particularly adaptive, especially given that the costs of making inaccurate predictions in the social domain are usually very high. ...
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Despite the growing emphasis on embedding interactive social paradigms in the field of cognitive and affective neuroscience, the impact of socially induced emotions on cognition remains widely unknown. The aim of the present study was to fill this gap by testing whether facial stimuli whose emotional valence was acquired through social learning in an economic trust game may influence cognitive performance in a subsequent stop-signal task. The study was designed as a conceptual replication of previous event-related potential experiments, extending them to more naturalistic settings. We hypothesized that response inhibition to briefly presented faces of negative and positive game partners would be enhanced on the behavioral and neural levels as compared to trials with a neutral player. The results revealed that the trust game was an effective paradigm for the induction of differently valenced emotions towards players; however, behavioral inhibitory performance was comparable in all stop-signal conditions. On the neural level, we found decreased P3 amplitude in negative trials due to significantly stronger activation in the right frontoparietal control network, which is involved in theory-of-mind operations and underlies social abilities in humans, especially memory-guided inference of others' mental states. Our findings make an important contribution to the cognition-emotion literature by showing that social interactions that take place during an economic game may influence brain activity within the mentalizing network in a subsequent cognitive task.
... Figure 1 provides a conceptual model illustrating the expected effects of prospective mental imagery on reward-motivated behaviour: positive prospective mental imagery of activities gives rise to a motivational amplifier effect by facilitating reward anticipation, reward motivation and reward-motivated behaviour. Given the power of mental imagery to amplify emotions (Holmes, Geddes, Colom, & Goodwin, 2008), it has the potential to evoke the anticipation of reward-related emotions by drawing upon prior knowledge and experiences (Kavanagh et al., 2005;Moulton & Kosslyn, 2009;Schacter et al., 2008). Anticipating the positive emotional consequences of future behaviour, in turn, predicts reward motivation and reward-motivated behaviour (Hallford & Sharma, 2019;Mellers & McGraw, 2001;Sherdell, Waugh, & Gotlib, 2012;Treadway & Zald, 2011). ...
Article
Background Mental imagery has long been part of cognitive behavioural therapies. More recently, a resurgence of interest has emerged for prospective mental imagery, i.e. future-directed imagery-based thought, and its relation to reward processing, motivation and behaviour in the context of depression. Method We conducted a selective review on the role of prospective mental imagery and its impact on reward processing and reward-motivated behaviour in depression. Results Based on the current literature, we propose a conceptual mechanistic model of prospective mental imagery. Prospective mental imagery of engaging in positive activities can increase reward anticipation and reward motivation, which can transfer to increased engagement in reward-motivated behaviour and more experiences of reward, thereby decreasing depressive symptoms. We suggest directions for future research using multimodal assessments to measure the impact of prospective mental imagery from its basic functioning in the lab to real-world and clinical implementation. Conclusion Prospective mental imagery has the potential to improve treatment for depression where the aim is to increase reward-motivated behaviours. Future research should investigate how exactly and for whom prospective mental imagery works.
... However, EAM allows us to not only store information about ourselves, but also to establish flexible models to understand ourselves and our future relationships (Schacter et al., 2008;Eichenbaum and Fortin, 2009). This process is adequate for addressing the complexity of a novel or unknown social environment, decreasing the likelihood of a possible failure in social interaction, while also minimizing the likelihood of social rejection and isolation (Spreng and Mar, 2012). ...
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Rather than occurring abstractly (autonomously), ethical growth occurs in interpersonal relationships (IRs). It requires optimally functioning cognitive processes [attention, working memory (WM), episodic/autobiographical memory (AM), inhibition, flexibility, among others], emotional processes (physical contact, motivation, and empathy), processes surrounding ethical, intimacy, and identity issues, and other psychological processes (self-knowledge, integration, and the capacity for agency). Without intending to be reductionist, we believe that these aspects are essential for optimally engaging in IRs and for the personal constitution. While they are all integrated into our daily life, in research and academic work, it is hard to see how they are integrated. Thus, we need better theoretical frameworks for studying them. That study and integration thereof are undertaken differently depending on different views of what it means to live as a human being. We rely on neuroscientific data to support the chosen theory to offer knowledge to understand human beings and interpersonal relational growth. We should of course note that to describe what makes up the uniqueness of being, acting, and growing as a human person involves something much more profound which requires too, a methodology that opens the way for a theory of the person that responds to the concerns of philosophy and philosophical anthropology from many disciplines and methods ( Orón Semper, 2015 ; Polo, 2015 ), but this is outside the scope of this study. With these in mind, this article aims to introduce a new explanatory framework, called the Interprocessual-self (IPS), for the neuroscientific findings that allow for a holistic consideration of the previously mentioned processes. Contributing to the knowledge of personal growth and avoiding a reductionist view, we first offer a general description of the research that supports the interrelation between personal virtue in IRs and relevant cognitive, emotional, and ethic-moral processes. This reveals how relationships allow people to relate ethically and grow as persons. We include conceptualizations and descriptions of their neural bases. Secondly, with the IPS model, we explore neuroscientific findings regarding self-knowledge, integration, and agency, all psychological processes that stimulate inner exploration of the self concerning the other. We find that these fundamental conditions can be understood from IPS theory. Finally, we explore situations that involve the integration of two levels, namely the interpersonal one and the social contexts of relationships.
... Memory research has accepted that episodic memory plays a similar role for recalling past and imagining novel autobiographical events Atance & O'Neill, 2001Klein et al., 2002;Schacter & Addis, 2007;Suddendorf et al., 2009;Tulving, 2002). According to the Constructive Episodic Simulation Hypothesis (CESH), episodic memory constructs autobiographical memories by combining constituent details from an experience into a coherent mental representation, and constructs imagined events by flexibly recombining details from various memories (Addis, 2018(Addis, , 2020Schacter et al., 2008;Schacter & Addis, 2007). The ability to imagine not-yet-experienced events is highly adaptive, enabling one's future to be represented flexibly in service of several everyday tasks such as planning and problem solving (Madore & Schacter, 2014;Peters et al., 2019;Sheldon et al., 2019). ...
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Episodic memory plays a common role in constructing mental representations of past and imagined autobiographical events. Research has suggested that certain factors will affect how episodic memory is used during mental construction, such as the expectancy that an event will occur and the familiarity with an event's context. The aim of the current study was to understand how these factors affect episodic memory engagement and subjective experience during event imagination. In a within-subjects design, participants viewed context cues (high or low in familiarity), described imagined autobiographical events (expected or not expected to occur in these contexts) and rated their experience. 24-hours later, participants recalled and described the same events. We found that expectancy of the imagined events was associated with quicker access and increased episodic detail generation, regardless of context familiarity. Additionally, both event expectancy and context familiarity affected the subjective quality of the imagined events. Examining the episodic details in descriptions after the delay revealed comparable effects of these two factors. Our results underscore the importance of event expectancy in recruiting episodic memory for imagined autobiographical experiences.
... One could take this proposal a step further, arguing that it also offers a reason why the remember + ing is much more frequently used than the positive forget + ing with a retrospective function. In short, the argument rests on the idea that activities such as remembering past events, counterfactual thinking (imagining alternatives to past events) and future episodic thinking (imagining possible future events) are all a matter of simulation (Schacter, Addis and Buckner 2008;Shanton and Goldman 2010;Michaelian, 2016). ...
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Abstract I argue that Duffley’s sign-based semantics and embodied semantics may be mutually beneficial if we conceive them as a semantic theory and as a foundational theory, respectively. First, I describe embodied semantics as a research program that conceives the foundations of meaning in terms of embodied simulation. Afterwards, I draw attention to three points (the analysis of FOR, verbs of positive and negative recall, and causative verbs) where Duffley’s semantics could find support in such a foundational theory. Finally, I suggest that two pressing challenges currently on the agenda of embodied semantics (abstract language and sentence-level simulations) could be met by Duffley’s theory.
... The brain mechanisms involved in prospective thought about the future overlap with those used for episodic memory about the past (Schacter et al., 2008) and may even be subsystems of a broader mental time travel faculty (Suddendorf & Corbalis, 1997. This is consistent with our view that the same representationsnarratives-underlie explanations of the past and simulations of the future (Aronowitz & Lombrozo, 2020). ...
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Conviction Narrative Theory (CNT) is a theory of choice under radical uncertainty —situations where outcomes cannot be enumerated and probabilities cannot be assigned. Whereas most theories of choice assume that people rely on (potentially biased) probabilistic judgments, such theories cannot account for adaptive decision-making when probabilities cannot be assigned. CNT proposes that people use narratives —structured representations of causal, temporal, analogical, and valence relationships—rather than probabilities, as the currency of thought that unifies our sense-making and decision-making faculties. According to CNT, narratives arise from the interplay between individual cognition and the social environment, with reasoners adopting a narrative that feels ‘right’ to explain the available data; using that narrative to imagine plausible futures; and affectively evaluating those imagined futures to make a choice. Evidence from many areas of the cognitive, behavioral, and social sciences supports this basic model, including lab experiments, interview studies, and econometric analyses. We propose 12 principles to explain how the mental representations (narratives) interact with four inter-related processes (explanation, simulation, affective evaluation, communication), examining the theoretical and empirical basis for each. We conclude by discussing how CNT can provide a common vocabulary for researchers studying everyday choices across areas of the decision sciences.
... One way to further unpick the role of visual perspective in depression involves assessing future imagined autobiographical events. Imagined future events are similar to autobiographical memories in that they involve episodic thinking and are important for decision making and emotion regulation (Schacter et al., 2008(Schacter et al., , 2017. However, imagining a future event requires more effort on construction (extracting details and combining into a novel event) than episodic remembering (Addis et al., 2009), and there is some evidence that future thinking relies on distinct neural underpinnings to autobiographical memory (Addis et al., 2007;Schacter & Addis, 2009). ...
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Depression is associated with increased observer visual perspective for positive autobiographical memories. However, it is unclear if this relationship (1) is present in individuals at high familial risk of depression; (2) is a general bias extending to future imagined events; and (3) is independent of general cognition and other cognitive biases. We examined the association of observer perspective, valence (positive, negative, neutral) and temporality (memories, future imagined events) with depressive symptoms in 29 young adults at high familial risk for depression. Increased observer perspective for memories was associated with dimensional depressive symptoms controlling for IQ and autobiographical specificity. There was weak evidence that increased observer perspective for future events was associated with a diagnostic measure of depressive symptoms, but limited evidence that perspective by valence interactions were associated with depressive symptoms. Results indicate depressive symptoms are associated with an observer perspective bias in autobiographical thinking regardless of temporality or valence.
... Since 1958, attempts have been made to understand data through visualization [19]. Over the years, in addition to understanding, we aimed to predict future events based on data simulation visualizations [20,21]. With the increasing Meteorology studies the atmosphere and its phenomena to forecast the weather, which is fundamental at the present time. ...
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The accelerated changes on our planet have led to a growing interest in climate change and its consequences: natural hazards and adverse socio-economic impacts. However, the development of climate research and the proliferation of datasets require an integrated and efficient approach to the analysis, investigation, and visualization of atmospheric meteorological data. Thus, we propose a literature review of existing systems viewing meteorological phenomena in four and three dimensions. Moreover, we evaluate meteorological occurrences to better understand the dynamics associated with a meteorological phenomenon and visualize different weather data. Based on the investigation of tools and methods, we consider the existence of different ways of representing meteorological data and methodologies. However, it was imperative to obtain knowledge and create our way of visualizing weather data. This article found eleven existing solutions for 4D meteorological visualization and meteorological phenomena.
... Consumers can bring the sensory information in memory to their minds through mental imagery awakened by external stimuli, which are being considered as a quasi-sensory experience (Rodríguez-Ardura and Martínez-López, 2014). In addition, consumers can imagine the situations that they have not experienced before and will happen in the future through mental imagery (Schacter et al., 2008), that is, simulating the user experience psychologically. For example, consumers can simulate the situations in resorts (Walters et al., 2007), or imagine the comfort of wearing new sneakers through mental imagery (White et al., 1977). ...
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The product presentation videos on E-commerce platforms have a significant influence on consumers' purchase decisions, and enterprises have focused on choosing the type of product presentation videos. Based on the resource matching theory, mental imagery theory and cue utilization theory, this study investigated the influence of product presentation videos type (product appearance video vs. product usage video) on consumers' purchase intention and the moderating effect of product rating (low vs. high). Through three pre-experiments and two formal experiments, the results showed that the product usage video has a stronger effect on consumers' purchase intention more than the product appearance video, which is mediated by perceived diagnosticity and mental imagery. In addition, product rating moderated the influence of product presentation videos type on consumers' purchase intention. The product usage video would improve consumers' purchase intention more than the product appearance video when the product rating is high; however, there is no significant difference in the impact of two types of videos on consumers' purchase intention when the product rating is low. This study supplements the research on product presentation videos and provides a reference for online retailers to select effective product presentation videos.
... Another important aspect of cognition that may be affected by acute alcohol use, but which has not yet been tested empirically, is episodic future thinking (EFT). EFT refers to the ability to imagine or simulate a personal hypothetical future scenario (Atance and O'Neill 2001;Schacter et al. 2008;Szpunar 2010). It is therefore a highly adaptive ability that allows an individual to carefully plan their behaviour by pre-experiencing a future personal event and imagining the consequences of their actions, thus enhancing the likelihood of achieving desired outcomes, and avoiding undesirable ones (Suddendorf and Corballis 2007). ...
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Rationale Acute alcohol consumption adversely affects many cognitive abilities, including episodic memory and executive functioning. However, no study to date has tested whether these acute effects of alcohol also extend to episodic future thinking (EFT). This is a surprising omission given that EFT refers to the ability to imagine oneself experiencing the future, a highly adaptive ability that has been implicated in many important functional behaviours. EFT is also thought to impose demands on episodic memory and executive control. Objectives The current study was designed to provide the first test of whether a moderate dose of alcohol influences EFT and whether any observed EFT difficulties are secondary to broader problems in episodic memory and executive functioning. Sex differences in EFT following acute alcohol consumption were also examined. Methods One hundred and twenty-four healthy adult social drinkers were recruited and randomly assigned to either the alcohol (n = 61) or placebo (n = 63) condition. Participants were administered a dose of 0.6 g/kg alcohol or a matched placebo drink. Results Relative to the placebo condition, EFT was impaired by acute alcohol consumption. This impairment was underpinned by broader difficulties with episodic memory, but not executive functioning. There were no sex differences in EFT performance following acute alcohol use. Conclusion These data provide novel insights into the effects of acute alcohol consumption on EFT and the broader cognitive mechanisms that contribute to these difficulties. The results are discussed in relation to their implications for understanding many of the maladaptive behaviours commonly associated with acute alcohol use.
... The presurgical counselling of focal epilepsy patients typically assumes that they can mentally project themselves into an imagined future, envisaging the potential impacts of different treatment outcomes on their lifestyle. 1,2 This future thinking requires richly detailed mental simulation of multiple hypothetical future scenarios, for instance: ...
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The ability to mentally travel forward through time allows humans to envisage a diverse array of possible events taking place in the future, helping us to choose which pathway to take in life. In epilepsy, we assume that patients use this cognitive ability when deciding between various treatment options but this assumption has not been robustly tested. The temporal lobes are key contributors to this ‘future thinking’ and its building blocks include cognitive functions commonly impaired in temporal lobe epilepsy such as memory and language, giving rise to a hypothesis that ‘future thinking’ is impaired in this patient cohort. Participants were 68 adults: 37 with neurosurgically-naïve, unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy (51% right lateralised) and 31 healthy controls of similar age, sex, and intellectual ability to the participants with epilepsy. Future thinking was measured using an imagined experiences task validated in other neurological populations. Tools well-established in temporal lobe epilepsy were used to measure potential cognitive correlates of future thinking. Analysis of variance revealed significantly impoverished future thinking in both left and right temporal lobe epilepsy relative to controls (P=.001, ηp2=.206), with no difference between temporal lobe epilepsy groups (P>.05). Future thinking deficits in left temporal lobe epilepsy were paralleled by deficits in scene construction, whereas impoverished future thinking in right temporal lobe epilepsy occurred in the setting of intact scene construction. Deficits in future thinking were associated with reductions in lexical access and episodic autobiographic memory in both epilepsy groups. In sum, future thinking is compromised in both left and right temporal lobe epilepsy. The deficit in left temporal lobe epilepsy is largely explainable by dysfunction in verbal cognitive processes including scene construction. While the basis of the deficits observed with right temporal foci shares features with that of left temporal lobe epilepsy, their intact scene construction raises questions about the role of the left and right temporal lobes in future thinking and scene construction, and the relationship between these two constructs, including whether right temporal lobe might play a specific role in future thinking in terms of creative processing. Clinicians should take impaired future thinking into account when counselling temporal lobe epilepsy patients about various treatment options, as they may struggle to vividly imagine what different outcomes might mean for their future selves.
... Notably, the functional connectivity between the core nodes of the DMN positively correlates with the integrity of the CC 119-121 , CNG 122-124 and the ATR 122,125 . The anterior midline node of the DMN supports internally directed thought and self-referential processing 126,127 , including simulating one's (mostly optimistically biased) future [128][129][130] . The integrity of the CC, in particular, has been associated with a higher dispositional optimism 131,132 and a higher resistance to updating personal beliefs in a pessimistic direction 133,134 . ...
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We investigated the white matter correlates of personality profiles predictive of subjective well-being. Using principal component analysis to first determine the possible personality profiles onto which core personality measures would load, we subsequently searched for whole-brain white matter correlations with these profiles. We found three personality profiles that correlated with the integrity of white matter tracts. The correlates of an “optimistic” personality profile suggest (a) an intricate network for self-referential processing that helps regulate negative affect and maintain a positive outlook on life, (b) a sustained capacity for visually tracking rewards in the environment and (c) a motor readiness to act upon the conviction that desired rewards are imminent. The correlates of a “short-term approach behavior” profile was indicative of minimal loss of integrity in white matter tracts supportive of lifting certain behavioral barriers, possibly allowing individuals to act more outgoing and carefree in approaching people and rewards. Lastly, a “long-term approach behavior” profile’s association with white matter tracts suggests lowered sensitivity to transient updates of stimulus-based associations of rewards and setbacks, thus facilitating the successful long-term pursuit of goals. Together, our findings yield convincing evidence that subjective well-being has its manifestations in the brain.
... We first assessed common activation with a conjunction analysis for inner narration of past, future, and daydream events (including both the L1 and the L2 event inner narrations). Again, we found activation of the hippocampo-cortical core network (see Fig. 2C; Supplementary Table S1), that is the referential network widely observed in the literature both for past and future event construction (Atance and O'Neill 2001;Spreng and Levine 2006;Hassabis, Kumaran, and Maguire 2007a;Hassabis and Maguire 2007;Schacter et al. 2007;Szpunar et al. 2007;Abraham et al. 2008;Schacter et al. 2008;Maguire and Hassabis 2011;Anderson et al. 2012;de Vito et al. 2012;Schacter et al. 2012;Horner et al. 2016;Beaty et al. 2019): left hippocampal body, vmPFC, precuneus-retrosplenial, left and right angular gyri, left and right anterior MTG, and left temporal pole. Interestingly, when assessing the contrast of inner narration of "self" against "non-self" events, the hippocampocortical areas stayed active (see Supplementary Table 4); more precisely, we found a network that included the left hippocampal body, precuneus-retrosplenial cortex, the vmPFC, and anterior inferior temporal cortex (see Fig. 2E). ...
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We often use inner narration when thinking about past and future events. The present paradigm explicitly addresses the influence of the language used in inner narration on the hippocampus-dependent event construction process. We assessed the language context effect during the inner narration of different event types: past, future, daydream, and self-unrelated fictitious events. The language context was assessed via a fluent bilingual population who used inner narration, either in their first language (L1) or second language (L2). Not all inner narration of events elicited hippocampo-cortical activity. In fact, only the angular gyrus and precuneus-retrosplenial cortex were activated by inner narration across all event types. More precisely, only inner narration of events which entailed the simulation of bodily self-location in space (whether or not they were time-marked: past, future, daydream) depended on the hippocampo-cortical system, while inner narration of events that did not entail bodily self-location (self-unrelated fictitious) did not. The language context of the narration influenced the bilinguals' hippocampo-cortical system by enhancing the co-activation of semantic areas with the hippocampus for inner narration of events in the L2. Overall, this study highlights 2 important characteristics of hippocampo-cortical-dependent inner narration of events: The core episodic hippocampal system is activated for inner narration of events simulating self-location in space (regardless of time-marking), and the inner language used for narration (L1 or L2) mediates hippocampal functional connectivity.
... Since those observations, many further functions were shown to be associated with this network. Other than self-referential and emotional processes (Fossati et al. 2003;Ochsner et al. 2004Ochsner et al. , 2005Northoff and Bermpohl 2004;Northoff et al. 2006;Buckner and Carroll 2007;Uddin et al. 2007;D'Argembeau et al. 2010;Denny et al. 2012;Molnar-Szakacs and Uddin 2013;Engen et al. 2017;Satpute and Lindquist 2019;Fingelkurts et al. 2020;Knyazev et al. 2020), the DMN turned out to be related to memory and mental time-travel (Cabeza et al. 1997;Svoboda et al. 2006;Schacter et al. 2007Schacter et al. , 2008; Addis et al. 2007;Foster et al. 2012;Yang et al. 2013;Rugg and Vilberg 2013;Kim 2016;Murphy et al. 2018), mental simulation and scene construction Spreng and Grady 2010;Gerlach et al. 2011), Theory of Mind (ToM) and social cognition (Saxe and Kanwisher 2003;Rilling et al. 2004;Ruby and Decety 2004;Saxe and Powell 2006;Mar 2011;Mars et al. 2012;Spreng and Andrews-Hanna 2015;Amft et al. 2015;Mwilambwe-Tshilobo and Spreng 2021), moral judgment (Greene et al. 2001;Harrison et al. 2008;Pujol et al. 2008;Bzdok et al. 2012), and semantic processing (Binder et al. 1999;Chiou et al. 2020;Evans et al. 2020;Lanzoni et al. 2020). However, most of these psychological functions can still be somewhat associated with the resting state, in the sense that these activities might be easily carried out during rest. ...
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Recent developments in network neuroscience suggest reconsidering what we thought we knew about the default mode network (DMN). Although this network has always been seen as unitary and associated with the resting state, a new deconstructive line of research is pointing out that the DMN could be divided into multiple subsystems supporting different functions. By now, it is well known that the DMN is not only deactivated by tasks, but also involved in affective, mnestic, and social paradigms, among others. Nonetheless, it is starting to become clear that the array of activities in which it is involved, might also be extended to more extrinsic functions. The present meta-analytic study is meant to push this boundary a bit further. The BrainMap database was searched for all experimental paradigms activating the DMN, and their activation likelihood estimation maps were then computed. An additional map of task-induced deactivations was also created. A multidimensional scaling indicated that such maps could be arranged along an anatomo-psychological gradient, which goes from midline core activations, associated with the most internal functions, to that of lateral cortices, involved in more external tasks. Further multivariate investigations suggested that such extrinsic mode is especially related to reward, semantic, and emotional functions. However, an important finding was that the various activation maps were often different from the canonical representation of the resting-state DMN, sometimes overlapping with it only in some peripheral nodes, and including external regions such as the insula. Altogether, our findings suggest that the intrinsic–extrinsic opposition may be better understood in the form of a continuous scale, rather than a dichotomy.
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Get access Share icon Skip to Main Content Log in | Register Search in: Memory Latest Articles 0 Views 0 CrossRef citations to date 0 Altmetric Research Article A story to tell: the role of narratives in reducing delay discounting for people who strongly discount the future Leonard H. Epstein,Tatiana Jimenez-Knight,Anna M. Honan,Mathew J. BiondolilloORCID Icon,Rocco A. Paluch &Warren K. Bickel Received 08 Oct 2020, Accepted 25 May 2021, Published online: 03 Jun 2021 Download citation CrossMark LogoCrossMark Select Language ▼ Translator disclaimer ABSTRACT Delay Discounting (DD) or devaluing a future, larger reward in favour of a smaller, more immediate reward, has been linked to negative health behaviours. One intervention that reduces DD is Episodic Future Thinking (EFT). EFT has participants generate cues representing positive future events that correspond to temporal windows during the DD task. The current study examined if incorporating EFT cues into narratives would strengthen effects on DD. One hundred and sixty adults were recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk and were randomised to traditional or narrative EFT. Results showed that participants in narrative EFT discounted the future less (p = 0.034) than participants who engaged in traditional EFT. This novel approach to EFT is well grounded in research and theory on the power of narratives to influence behaviour and can open a new window into ways to reduce DD to strengthen engagement in positive choices.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has created a serious and prolonged public health emergency. Older adults have been at substantially greater risk of hospitalization, intensive care unit admission and death due to COVID-19. As of February 2021, over 81% of COVID-19-related deaths in the US occurred in people over the age of 65 (refs. 1,2). Converging evidence from around the world suggests that age is the greatest risk factor for severe COVID-19 illness and for the experience of adverse health outcomes3,4. Therefore, effectively communicating health-related risk information requires tailoring interventions to the needs of older adults5. Using a new informational intervention with a nationally representative sample of 546 US residents, we found that older adults reported increased perceived risk of COVID-19 transmission after imagining a personalized scenario with social consequences. Although older adults tended to forget numerical information over time, the personalized simulations elicited increases in perceived risk that persisted over a 1–3 week delay. Overall, our results bear broad implications for communicating information about health risks to older adults and suggest new strategies to combat annual influenza outbreaks. A cognitive intervention study for communicating information about COVID-19 transmission risk found that older adults tended to forget numerical information but reported increased perceived risk after imagining a personalized scenario with social consequences.
Conference Paper
This thesis examines the relationship between goal conflict, ruminative thinking, and psychological distress. It is presented in three parts. Part 1 presents a systematic review of the existing literature on the association between goal conflict and depression in non-clinical adults. Findings from 12 studies were synthesised. The evidence to support the relationship between goal conflict and depression was not consistent, and this association appeared to be relatively weak. The findings provided some clinical implications, albeit limited, as more research on this subject in clinical populations remains needed. Part 2 presents an empirical paper examining the associations among goal conflict, ruminative thinking, and aspects of psychological distress in a non-clinical adult sample. Participants were asked to complete a set of questionnaires on ruminative thinking, psychological symptoms, and sense of control. They were also asked to rate how conflicting their goals were to one another. The findings suggest that individuals with higher levels of goal conflict ruminate more than those experiencing lower goal conflict, and that ruminative thinking appears to be positively correlated with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. However, the findings did not support that ruminative thinking is a mediator between goal conflict and psychological symptoms. Perceived constraints (a subcomponent of sense of control) also did not moderate the impact of goal conflict on ruminative thinking. Part 3 is a critical appraisal of the empirical paper. This consists of my reflection on the research process, as well as my personal experience related to the subject of goal conflict while conducting this project.
Article
Introduction: Prospective memory (PM) is a multiphasic cognitive function important for autonomy and functional independence but is easily disrupted by pathological aging processes. Through cognitive simulation of perceptual experiences, mental imagery could be an effective compensatory strategy to enhance PM performance. Nevertheless, relevant research in individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) has been limited, and the underlying mechanism of the therapeutic effect has not been sufficiently elucidated. The present study aimed to examine complex PM performances and the effect of mental imagery on each phase in older adults with MCI and to investigate the underlying cognitive mechanism from a process perspective. Methods: Twenty-eight MCI and 32 normal aging controls completed a seminaturalistic PM task, in addition to a series of neuropsychological tests. Participants from each group were randomly assigned to a mental imagery condition or a standard repeated encoding condition before performing the PM task. Four indices were used to measure performance in the intention formation, intention retention, intention initiation, and intention execution phases of PM. Performances in each phase was compared between the 2 diagnostic groups and the 2 instruction conditions. Results: The MCI group performed worse than the normal aging group in the intention formation and intention retention phases. The participants in the mental imagery condition performed significantly better than those in the standard condition during the intention formation, intention retention, and intention execution phases, regardless of the diagnostic group. Moreover, there was a significant interaction between the group and condition during intention retention, showing that people with MCI benefited even more from mental imagery than normal aging in this phase. Performance in the intention retention phase predicted performance in the intention initiation and intention execution phases. Discussion: PM deficits in MCI mainly manifest during planning and retaining intentions. Mental imagery was able to promote performance in all but the initiation phase, although a trend for improvement was observed in this phase. The effects of mental imagery may be exerted in the intention retention phase by strengthening the PM cue-action bond, thereby facilitating the probability of intention initiation and bolstering fidelity to the original plan during intention execution.
Chapter
Visualization can be defined as a technique that allows us to obtain the perception of an object/event in a clear and consistent way. The use of visualization in education is a key factor to explain complex information in a clear way. Therefore, it is essential to have tools capable of visualizing various types of data. An example of a data type is the weather forecast data, which includes various atmospheric data for a given place, and allows the simulation of the atmospheric evolution. It is used for decision making in many areas, such as, agriculture, fishing, tourism, etc. Thus, it is beneficial to demonstrate the usefulness of this type of visualization to better understand the meteorological phenomena, as well as to teach scientific visualization techniques in order to enable access to information that otherwise can only be interpreted by qualified people. In this article it will be discussed the scientific visualization and its benefits to the area of meteorology, and it will be presented a case study of data visualization using the ParaView tools for meteorological data visualization and analysis. ParaView is a multiplatform tool based on the Visualization Toolkit (VTK) that provides features to process, analyze, and visualize various types of data. This study aims to present a tool for scientific visualization and to demonstrate its applications and usefulness for education.
Article
Background Prospective memory is a critical neurocognitive capacity that refers to the ability to execute delayed intentions. To date, few studies have investigated the effects of acute alcohol consumption on prospective memory, and important questions remain about the mechanisms that might underpin acute alcohol-induced prospective memory impairment. Aims The current study sought to clarify the nature and magnitude of prospective memory difficulties following acute alcohol consumption and to test the degree to which any problems with prospective remembering might be a secondary consequence of broader cognitive impairment. This study also investigated whether there were potential sex differences. Methods In all, 124 healthy adult social drinkers were assigned to either the alcohol ( n = 61) or placebo ( n = 63) condition. Participants were administered a dose of 0.6 g/kg alcohol or a matched placebo drink and then asked to complete a measure of prospective memory. A broader neurocognitive test battery was also administered. Results Relative to the placebo condition, acute alcohol intoxication led to significant impairment on all prospective memory tasks, with effects mostly large in magnitude. These difficulties could not be explained by broader problems in retrospective memory, executive function or episodic future thinking. In addition, females recorded a higher blood alcohol concentration than males; however, no sex differences in prospective memory performance were identified following acute alcohol use. Conclusion The results show that acutely, even a moderate dose of alcohol substantially impairs prospective memory function. These findings have potentially important implications for understanding many of the maladaptive behaviours associated with acute alcohol consumption.
Thesis
Ce travail doctoral propose de décloisonner les disciplines en rapprochant la littérature sur l’implication organisationnelle de celle en neuropsychologie sur la mémoire autobiographique. Un état de l’art sur l’implication organisationnelle a révélé l’insuffisante prise en compte du caractère heurté des carrières contemporaines. Or, ce n’est pas parce que le salarié change d’organisation qu’il fait table rase de son passé. Des traces mnésiques de son implication dans sa précédente organisation subsistent et continuent à produire des effets au présent. L’ambition de cette recherche est de tester l’hypothèse générale de l’existence d’un lien entre les implications organisationnelles rétrospective et actuelle. Les données empiriques collectées auprès de 385 salariés révèlent qu’un lien significatif existe entre ces deux implications. Ce lien n’est altéré ni par les différences des caractéristiques respectives des deux organisations, ni par les conditions de rupture, le temps de transition entre les deux emplois, l’ancienneté chez l’ancien ou le nouvel employeur. Ce lien est en revanche renforcé lorsque le salarié se met psychologiquement à distance de son souvenir. Ces résultats peuvent être expliqués par les connaissances tenues pour acquises au sujet de la mémoire autobiographique. Puisque le salarié ne peut modifier son passé, il reconstruit le souvenir qu’il en garde à chaque évocation au présent afin de maintenir à la fois une cohérence avec son self actuel et un sentiment de continuité de lui-même dans le temps. En offrant une relecture continue des événements passés à la lumière du présent, le salarié limite les effets dissonants qui pourraient éventuellement apparaître. Ces résultats inédits montrent, au niveau théorique, l’importance de la prise en compte du fonctionnement de la mémoire du salarié à l’heure des carrières moins linéaires. Sur le plan managérial, ils débouchent sur des préconisations d’action en particulier lorsque la mémoire du futur est intégrée. La mémoire autobiographique n’est en effet pas uniquement tournée vers le passé. Les souvenirs et les connaissances de ses expériences passées fournissent au salarié un socle autobiographique qui lui permet d’ajuster son comportement dans le présent et de prendre des décisions pour son avenir. Le présent englobe une partie du passé et une anticipation du futur. Sur le plan méthodologique, ils révèlent que lorsque les études questionnent le passé, ce n’est pas la réalité vécue qui est rapportée mais un souvenir reconstruit. Enfin, puisque la mémoire autobiographique individuelle est aussi tributaire de la mémoire collective, l’ensemble du phénomène ne peut être capturé qu’en les rapprochant. Nous avons inséré la mémoire autobiographique dans notre étude afin de compléter la littérature sur l’implication organisationnelle. En procédant ainsi, nous proposons un programme de recherche d’envergure.
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The therapeutic effect of antidepressants has been demonstrated for anhedonia in patients with depression. However, antidepressants may cause side‐effects, such as cardiovascular dysfunction. Although physical activity has minor side‐effects, it may serve as an alternative for improving anhedonia and depression. We sought to investigate whether physical activity reduces the level of anhedonia in individuals with depression. Fifty‐six university students with moderate depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory total score > 16) were divided into three training groups: the Running Group (RG, n = 19), the Stretching Group (SG, n = 19), and the Control Group (n = 18). We employed the Monetary Incentive Delay (MID) task and the Temporal Experience of Pleasure Scale (TEPS) to evaluate hedonic capacity. All participants in the RG and SG received 8 weeks of jogging and stretching training, respectively. The RG experienced an increase in the level of arousal during anticipation of a future reward and recalled less negativity towards the loss condition. The SG exhibited enhanced scores on the Anticipatory and Consummatory Pleasure subscales of the TEPS after training. Moreover, in the RG, greater improvements in anticipatory arousal ratings for pleasure and remembered valence ratings for negative affect were associated with longer training duration, lower maximum heart rate, and higher consumed calories during training. To conclude, physical activity is effective in improving anticipatory anhedonia in individuals with depressive symptoms.
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Rationale Episodic future thinking (EFT) is a cognitive function that allows individuals to imagine novel experiences that may happen in the future. Prior studies show that EFT is impaired in different groups of substance users. However, there is no evidence regarding the neurobiological mechanisms of EFT in cannabis users. Objectives We aimed to compare brain activations of regular cannabis users and non-using controls during an EFT fMRI task. Exploratory analyses were also conducted to investigate the association between EFT and cannabis use variables (e.g., duration of use, age onset, frequency of use). Methods Twenty current cannabis users and 22 drug-naïve controls underwent an fMRI scanning session while completing a task involving envisioning future-related events and retrieval of past memories as a control condition. The EFT fMRI task was adapted from the autobiographical interview and composed of 20 auditory cue sentences (10 cues for past and 10 cues for future events). Participants were asked to recall a past or generate a future event, in response to the cues, and then rate their vividness after each response. Results We found that cannabis users compared to non-user controls had lower activation within the cerebellum, medial and superior temporal gyrus, lateral occipital cortex, and occipital fusiform gyrus while envisioning future events. Cannabis users rated the vividness of past events significantly lower than non-users (P < 0.005). There were marginal group differences for rating the vividness of future events (P = 0.052). Significant correlations were also found between the medial and superior temporal gyrus activities and behavioral measures of EFT and episodic memory. Conclusions Cannabis users, compared to drug-naïve controls, have lower brain activation in EFT relevant regions. Thus, any attempts to improve aberrant EFT performance in cannabis users may benefit from EFT training.
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It has been frequently described that older adults subjectively report the vividness of their memories as being as high, or even higher, than young adults, despite poorer objective memory performance. Here, we review studies that examined age-related differences in the subjective experience of memory vividness. By examining vividness calibration and resolution, studies using different types of approaches converge to suggest that older adults overestimate the intensity of their vividness ratings relative to young adults, and that they rely on retrieved memory details to a lesser extent to judge vividness. We discuss potential mechanisms underlying these observations. Inflation of memory vividness with regard to the richness of memory content may stem from age-differences in vividness criterion or scale interpretation and psycho-social factors. The reduced reliance on episodic memory details in older adults may stem from age-related differences in how they monitor these details to make their vividness ratings. Considered together, these findings emphasize the importance of examining age-differences in memory vividness using different analytical methods and they provide valuable evidence that the subjective experience of remembering is more than the reactivation of memory content. In this vein, we recommend that future studies explore the links between memory vividness and other subjective memory scales (e.g., ratings of details or memory confidence) in healthy aging and/or other populations, as it could be used as a window to better characterize the cognitive processes that underpin the subjective assessment of the quality of recollected events.
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The relationships between the temporal focus of mind-wandering (i.e., past-oriented and future-oriented mind-wandering) and well-being are important issues for adolescents, which may have significant implications on their well-being and self-identity development. However, few studies tested the temporal focus of mind-wandering and its emotional consequences in adolescents. In the present study, we conducted two studies using self-reported questionnaires from large sample sets to examine the relationships between the temporal focus of mind-wandering and hedonic (pleasure attainment) and eudaimonic (meaning pursuing) well-being among Chinese adolescents. Study 1 preliminarily tested the relationships between the temporal focus of mind-wandering and hedonic well-being among adolescents ( n = 1273) suggesting that both past-oriented mind-wandering (PMW) and future-oriented mind-wandering (FMW) were positively correlated with hedonic well-being. Study 2 used a new sample ( n = 986) and included another aspect of well-being (i.e., eudaimonic well-being), showing that PMW and FMW were both positively correlated with hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Moreover, self-reflection mediated the relationships between FMW and hedonic/eudaimonic well-being, whereas self-reflection did not act as a mediator in the relationships between PMW and well-being. The present findings indicated that both PMW and FMW are beneficial for Chinese adolescents’ well-being, and emphasized the mediating role of self-reflection in the relationships between FMW and well-being.
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This chapter addresses the two most prominent contemporary dream theories in psychology. The Continuity Hypothesis (CH) holds that dreams are continuous with waking-life concerns. The frequency and intensity of these concerns, this theory predicts, dictates the frequency of a similar dream event. My mimetic theory of dreams (MT) confirms that waking concerns spill into dreams, yet it also shows that models instigate waking concerns and affect their intensity. Social Simulation Theory (SST) postulates that dreams simulate waking material to allow dreamers to practice social skills and to rehearse bonds important for species survival. MT also confirms that dreams are places to rehearse; they replicate (and alter) scenes from waking life for this purpose. But here again, rather than simply rehearsing social skills, my data indicate that REM-type dreams create scenes through which dreamers think mimetically about a model—a model that predicates the skills people in a culture use to make and sustain social bonds.
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Navigating the increasingly uncertain business world requires organizations and employees to be highly adaptive to threats and changes. During COVID-19, the dual threats to health and job security have been especially salient for frontline employees. Drawing on the job demands-resources (JD-R) model, we investigated individual and organizational mindfulness as valuable resources, which influence employee outcomes of preventative behaviors, emotional exhaustion, and job performance both directly, and indirectly through threat appraisals. We find that individual and organizational mindfulness influence threat appraisals in a “counterbalanced manner”: individual mindfulness decreases threat appraisals, while organizational mindfulness heightens the perceived threat of contracting COVID-19. The threat to health further serves as a double-edged sword, predicting both emotional exhaustion and preventative behaviors, while job insecurity impairs all employee outcomes. Based on these findings, we provide key implications for research and practice, and future research directions.
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People may behave differently in a shared physical context due to the mere presence of others. The study examined whether individual moral judgments were subject to the confederate’s presence. Experiment 1 supported the hypothesis that the confederate’s presence, relative to the control group, increased deontological judgment, disapproving of sacrificing a person’s lifetime or interest for preserving the greater good of others. Experiment 2 investigated whether the results extend to mental space. The result revealed that simulating a positive interaction with the confederate significantly increased the preference for deontological judgments relative to the control group. However, the effect disappeared if the participants were required to simulate only the person from the scenario that did not include any additional background contexts. These results demonstrated that the confederate’s physical presence and simulated confederate’s presence always preferred deontological judgments over utilitarian judgments. The findings suggested that the asymmetric moral effect occurred in the physical realm and mental space.
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Prior work suggests that imagining helping others increases prosocial intentions and behavior towards those individuals. But is this true for everyone, or only for those who tend towards – or away from – helping more generally? The current study (N=283) used an imagined helping paradigm and a battery of behavioral and self‐report measures of trait prosociality to determine whether the prosocial benefits of imagination depend upon an individual’s general tendency to help others. Replicating prior work, we found links between imagination and prosociality and support for a three‐factor model of prosociality comprising altruistically, norm‐motivated, and self‐reported prosocial behaviors. Centrally, the effects of imagination on prosociality were slightly larger for less altruistic individuals but independent of norm‐motivated and self‐reported prosociality. These results suggest leveraging people’s abilities for episodic simulation as a promising strategy for increasing prosociality in general, and perhaps particularly for those least likely to help otherwise. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Objective While Parkinson’s disease is associated with impairments in many aspects of prospective cognition, no study to date has tested whether these difficulties extend to problems using episodic foresight to guide future-directed behavior. To provide the first examination of whether people with Parkinson’s disease are impaired in their capacity to initiate and apply episodic foresight. Method People with Parkinson’s disease ( n = 42), and a demographically matched neurotypical comparison group ( n = 42) completed a validated behavioral assessment that met strict criteria for assessing episodic foresight (Virtual Week-Foresight), as well as a broader neurocognitive and clinical test battery. Results People with Parkinson’s disease were significantly less likely than the comparison group to acquire items that would later allow a problem to be solved and were also less likely to subsequently use these items for problem resolution. These deficits were largely unrelated to performance on other cognitive measures or clinical characteristics of the disorder. Conclusions The ability to engage in episodic foresight in an adaptive way is compromised in Parkinson’s disease. This appears to be a stable feature of the disorder, and one that is distinct from other clinical symptoms and neurocognitive deficits. It is now critical to establish exactly why these difficulties exist and how they impact on real-life functional capacity.
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Mental imagery is part of people's own internal processing and plays an important role in everyday life, cognition and pathology. The neural network supporting mental imagery is bottom‐up modulated by the imagery content. Here, we examined the complex associations of gender and age with the neural mechanisms underlying emotion imagery. We assessed the brain circuits involved in emotion mental imagery (vs. action imagery), controlled by a letter detection task on the same stimuli, chosen to ensure attention to the stimuli and to discourage imagery, in 91 men and women aged 14–65 years using fMRI. In women, compared with men, emotion imagery significantly increased activation within the right putamen, which is involved in emotional processing. Increasing age, significantly decreased mental imagery‐related activation in the left insula and cingulate cortex, areas involved in awareness of ones' internal states, and it significantly decreased emotion verbs‐related activation in the left putamen, which is part of the limbic system. This finding suggests a top‐down mechanism by which gender and age, in interaction with bottom‐up effect of type of stimulus, or directly, can modulate the brain mechanisms underlying mental imagery. In the study we explored the influences of gender and age on the neural circuits involved in mental imagery.
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This study compared the intent to help in response to nonverbal and verbal stimuli that described people in need of help to clarify the conditions and generality of effects that promote the intent to help. Participants were randomly assigned to a help-imagining group, a no-help imagining group, or a control group. In Study 1, the participants evaluated verbal stimuli. In Study 2, they evaluated visual stimuli as illustrations developed for this study. The results of both studies indicated that the group imagining they were helping scored significantly higher for the intent to help than the other two groups, suggesting that improving imagination about helping increased helpful intentions, regardless of the stimuli type. Also, we found that different aspects of different stimuli affected the intent to help: the effect of evaluating the recipient’s emotional state on the intent to help was only observed for visual stimuli, and visual stimuli compared to verbal stimuli, were less likely to influence an individual’s imagination and past experience on the intent to help.
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This article contains the argument that the human ability to travel mentally in time constitutes a discontinuity between ourselves and other animals. Mental time travel comprises the mental reconstruction of personal events from the past (episodic memory) and the mental construction of possible events in the future. It is not an isolated module, but depends on the sophistication of other cognitive capacities, including self-awareness, meta-representation, mental attribution, understanding the perception-knowledge relationship, and the ability to dissociate imagined mental states from one's present mental state. These capacities are also important aspects of so-called theory of mind, and they appear to mature in children at around age 4. Furthermore, mental time travel is generative, involving the combination and recombination of familiar elements, and in this respect may have been a precursor to language. Current evidence, although indirect or based on anecdote rather than on systematic study, suggests that nonhuman animals, including the great apes, are confined to a "present" that is limited by their current drive states. In contrast, mental time travel by humans is relatively unconstrained and allows a more rapid and flexible adaptation to complex, changing environments than is afforded by instincts or conventional learning. Past and future events loom large in much of human thinking, giving rise to cultural, religious, and scientific concepts about origins, destiny, and time itself.
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Two experiments (modeled after J. Deese's 1959 study) revealed remarkable levels of false recall and false recognition in a list learning paradigm. In Experiment 1, subjects studied lists of 12 words (e.g., bed, rest, awake ); each list was composed of associates of 1 nonpresented word (e.g., sleep). On immediate free recall tests, the nonpresented associates were recalled 40% of the time and were later recognized with high confidence. In Experiment 2, a false recall rate of 55% was obtained with an expanded set of lists, and on a later recognition test, subjects produced false alarms to these items at a rate comparable to the hit rate. The act of recall enhanced later remembering of both studied and nonstudied material. The results reveal a powerful illusion of memory: People remember events that never happened.
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Research dealing with various aspects of* the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1985, 1987) is reviewed, and some unresolved issues are discussed. In broad terms, the theory is found to be well supported by empirical evidence. Intentions to perform behaviors of different kinds can be predicted with high accuracy from attitudes toward the behavior, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control; and these intentions, together with perceptions of behavioral control, account for considerable variance in actual behavior. Attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control are shown to be related to appropriate sets of salient behavioral, normative, and control beliefs about the behavior, but the exact nature of these relations is still uncertain. Expectancy— value formulations are found to be only partly successful in dealing with these relations. Optimal rescaling of expectancy and value measures is offered as a means of dealing with measurement limitations. Finally, inclusion of past behavior in the prediction equation is shown to provide a means of testing the theory*s sufficiency, another issue that remains unresolved. The limited available evidence concerning this question shows that the theory is predicting behavior quite well in comparison to the ceiling imposed by behavioral reliability.
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Recognizing opportunities to achieve pending goals is an important cognitive ability. But when and how do we recognize that a current situation is especially suited to resuming a past goal? The predictive encoding model suggests pending goals are encoded into memory in association with anticipated environmental features. Optimally, these features are (a) necessary for successful goal satisfaction, (b) distinctive preconditions for expecting a plan to achieve the goal, and (c) described so as to be readily identified in the environment. Later, ordinary perception of features in the environment leads to automatic recognition of opportunities already prepared in memory. Evidence from experimental studies supports this theory, and demonstrates that general preparation can produce apparently novel opportunism. These findings suggest ways to facilitate the recognition of opportunities to satisfy pending goals.
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Episodic memory enables individuals to recollect past events as well as imagine possible future scenarios. Although the episodic specificity of past events declines as people grow older, it is unknown whether the same is true for future events. In an adapted version of the Autobiographical Interview, young and older participants generated past and future events. Transcriptions were segmented into distinct details that were classified as either internal (episodic) or external. Older adults generated fewer internal details than younger adults for past events, a result replicating previous findings; more important, we show that this deficit extends to future events. Furthermore , the number of internal details and the number of external details both showed correlations between past and future events. Finally, the number of internal details generated by older adults correlated with their relational memory abilities, a finding consistent with the constructive-episodic-simulation hypothesis, which holds that simulation of future episodes requires a system that can flexibly recombine details from past events into novel scenarios.
Chapter
The chapter tackles the placement of self-reflective consciousness amongst the numberless gradations by Darwin. Discussions of self-consciousness inevitably lead to Descartes' dictum, "I think, therefore I am". The goal is a rapprochement between this view and the Cartesian view, emphasizing this kind of consciousness applicable only to humans. Descartes maintained that animals are unable to engage in self-reflection. Negative results of various ape language projects and broad advances in animal cognition suggest that Descartes was right about the uniqueness of language but that he was wrong about animal's capacity for thought and self-reflection. There is abundant evidence that nonhuman pirates can form representations and use them to solve problems. The concept of autonoetic consciousness, as Tulving calls it, seemed close to the construct of self-reflective consciousness and metacognition which was the concern. Thus, instead of focusing on language, more fundamental capabilities are considered-the origins of self-reflective consciousness.
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This chapter sets the stage for the rest of the book, presenting anatomical and clinical distinctions that serve as organizational and memory "hooks" for reading many of the other chapters. It discusses how massive damage to the frontal lobes can cause dramatic changes in personality and comportment while keeping sensation, movement, consciousness, and most cognitive faculties. It addresses questions such as: Is there a unitary "frontal lobe syndrome" encompassing all signs and symptoms? Are there regional segregations of function within the frontal lobes? Is it possible to identify a potentially unifying principle of organization which cuts across the heterogeneous specializations attributed to the frontal lobes?.
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This article examines the effects of memory loss on a patient's ability to remember the past and imagine the future. We present the case of D.B., who, as a result of hypoxic brain damage, suffered severe amnesia for the personally experienced past. By contrast, his knowledge of the nonpersonal past was relatively preserved. A similar pattern was evidenced in his ability to anticipate future events. Although D.B. had great difficulty imagining what his experiences might be like in the future, his capacity to anticipate issues and events in the public domain was comparable to that of neurologically healthy, age-matched controls. These findings suggest that neuropsychological dissociations between episodic and semantic memory for the past also may extend to the ability to anticipate the future.
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WE STUDIED 12 normal volunteers who were asked to imagine and plan their behavior in emotional and nonemotional situations while their regional cerebral blood flow was measured with positron emission tomography. The dorsolateral prefrontal and posterior temporal cortex were more activated during the nonemotional situation whereas the medial prefrontal cortex and anterior temporal cortex were more activated during the emotional situation. These results demonstrate that distinctive regions of the prefrontal and temporal cortex used to imagine and plan behavior are activated during the expression of emotional and non-emotional plans.
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In this volume Professor Luria has collected a series of his monographs on neuropsychology. Some of the material dates from over two decades ago, but has been refashioned in the light of later experience, particularly experience gained from the traumatic lesions of World War II. The initial essays are concerned with the well-worn disputes of localization vs nonlocalization of cerebral function; the remaining portion of the book is an attempt to examine in detail the disturbances of psychological function found with pathology of the frontal lobes. It is this latter section which is likely to be of most interest to clinical neurologists. We are often content in clinical situations to recognize a so-called "frontal syndrome" by its grosser manifestations of apathy or "Witzelsucht." Professor Luria is concerned with analyzing and explaining these manifestations more deeply, eg, to describe the disorders of linguistic function found in frontal lesions which go beyond
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Discussion sur la nature de la " psychologie populaire " (folk psychology). L'A. se concentre sur le probleme de la prediction d'un comportement (de soi-meme, et des autres) et examine, dans cette optique, le raisonnement hypothetico-deductif, ainsi que sur le probleme de l'attribution des croyances. L'A. soutient que meme si la psychologie populaire n'est pas une theorie mais une capacite de raisonnement pratique, elle demeure une alternative
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Presents a theory of norms and normality and applies the theory to phenomena of emotional responses, social judgment, and conversations about causes. Norms are assumed to be constructed ad hoc by recruiting specific representations. Category norms are derived by recruiting exemplars. Specific objects or events generate their own norms by retrieval of similar experiences stored in memory or by construction of counterfactual alternatives. The normality of a stimulus is evaluated by comparing it with the norms that it evokes after the fact, rather than to precomputed expectations. Norm theory is applied in analyses of the enhanced emotional response to events that have abnormal causes, of the generation of predictions and inferences from observations of behavior, and of the role of norms in causal questions and answers. (3 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This article reviews the papers published in this Special Issue of Cognition and Emotion on Specificity in Autobiographical Memory. Together, the studies address some critical issues relating to the etiology of and mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of overgeneral memory. In terms of etiology, there is now substantial evidence of links between overgeneral memory and current or past depression, and between overgeneral memory and trauma history, and suicidal ideation and behaviour, independent of depression. In terms of mechanisms, three factors are emerging as the critical mechanisms underlying the phenomenon: Capture and rumination (CaR), functional avoidance (FA), and executive control dysfunction (X). Each of these has separately been found to produce overgenerality in memory; together they are almost certain to do so.
Article
ABSTRACT An interesting challenge for researchers who study prospective memory is to explain how people recognize environmental events as cues for actions. Whereas some theorists propose that a capacity-consuming monitoring process is the only means by which intentions can be retrieved, we argue that the cognitive system relies on multiple processes, including spontaneous processes that reflexively respond to the presence of target events. We present evidence for the existence of spontaneous retrieval processes and apply the idea of multiple processes to mixed findings on age-related decline in prospective memory.
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Recent advances in theory and research on the relations among mental simulation, affect, and personality are summarized and combined. Research has shown that (a) affect and mental simulations can influence each other, (b) mental simulations can serve diverse self-motives, and (c) personality characteristics are related to divergent functions of mental simulations. Findings in these three areas are synthesized into a conceptual framework on the basis of three attributes of mental simulations: (a) time, whether simulations are prospective or retrospective; (b) direction, whether simulations are upward or downward; and (c) focus, whether simulations are contrasted or assimilated. This integrated framework not only may enable a greater understanding of existing findings, but also suggests novel and unique predictions for future research on understanding personality processes, automaticity in simulations, and coping with life events.
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Four theories of the human conceptual system—semantic memory, exemplar models, feed‐forward connectionist nets, and situated simulation theory—are characterised and contrasted on five dimensions: (1) architecture (modular vs. non‐modular), (2) representation (amodal vs. modal), (3) abstraction (decontextualised vs. situated), (4) stability (stable vs. dynamical), and (5) organisation (taxonomic vs. action–environment interface). Empirical evidence is then reviewed for the situated simulation theory, and the following conclusions are reached. Because the conceptual system shares mechanisms with perception and action, it is non-modular. As a result, conceptual representations are multi-modal simulations distributed across modality‐specific systems. A given simulation for a concept is situated, preparing an agent for situated action with a particular instance, in a particular setting. Because a concept delivers diverse simulations that prepare agents for action in many different situations, it is dynamical. Because the conceptual system’s primary purpose is to support situated action, it becomes organised around the action–environment interface.
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The author regrets that there was a mistake in reference [37] in the above article. The correct reference is:Oliva, A. and Torralba, A. (2001) Modeling the shape of the scene: a holistic representation of the spatial envelope. Int. J. Comput. Vis. 42, 145–175.The author sincerely apologizes for any problems that this error may have caused.
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A salient feature of clinical anxiety and its disorders is an elevated subjective probability judgement that future negative events will happen to the individual. A neglected area of research is the cognitive mechanisms that might underlie this judgement in patient populations. First, we investigated the ease of being able to simulate imaginary negative events happening to the individual (‘the simulation heuristic’). Second, we conducted the first investigation to our knowledge into the possible role of visual imagery characteristics on subjective probability for negative events. Twenty-six patients who had a clinical level of anxiety and 26 low-anxiety control participants simulated mentally and also formed visual images of future negative events. They then rated the likelihood of the events happening to them. As predicted, with anxious patients the simulation heuristic was correlated with subjective probability, and they reported increased access to their simulations compared to control participants. The visual image results were more complex: anxious patients' ease of image formation was correlated with subjective probability but did not differ from that of the control participants, and vividness and dismissibility were enhanced in anxious patients but did not correlate with subjective probability. Clinically, helping anxious patients to improve their access to simulations of why events will nothappen may help lower their subjective probability. Future research could seek to confirm this experimentally in a clinical intervention study, as well as isolate further the different roles particular visual image characteristics may play in specific aspects of clinical anxiety. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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This book provides a comprehensive treatment of the history and implications of the notion of multiple memory systems, of the evidence that supports it, and of the nature of the systems discovered so far. The book begins by highlighting a brief history of ideas about multiple memory systems and how those ideas fit into the story of the progression of our understanding of the nature and organization of memory in the brain. Other early chapters address some of the themes and principles that are common to all memory systems, including the fundamentals of cellular plasticity and the critical role of the cerebral cortex in memory. The central portion of the book then attempts to characterize the role of several specific memory systems, starting with a detailed analysis of the hippocampal memory system - the brain system that mediates declarative memory, our ability to recollect consciously everyday facts and experiences, by supporting the capacity for relational memory processing. Individual chapters focus on non-human primate and rodent models of amnesia, on hippocampal neuronal activity, and on the permanent consolidation of declarative memories. Subsequent chapters present evidence of functional dissociations among various memory systems. These chapters identify and describe brain systems that mediate emotional memories, modulate memory, or mediate the acquisition of behavioral habits (procedural memory), all concerned with long-term memory abilities, and a system focused on the prefrontal cortex that supports working memory.
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A reminder of the joy and sorrow of reminiscence.
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This study investigated the process by which individuals with and without dysphoria judge the likelihood that specific negative events will happen to them. More specifically, it examined whether the positive relationship usually found between dysphoria and pessimism is mediated by how easy it feels to imagine reasons why such events would happen to the self. We manipulated the number of reasons that participants imagined (two vs. five) as an additional predictor of ease. Regression analysis indicated that both the number of reasons imagined and dysphoria predicted feelings of ease. Moreover, dysphoria and feelings of ease predicted likelihood judgments. Finally, feelings of ease partially mediated the relationship between dysphoria and likelihood judgments. We discuss the results in terms of the availability heuristic, the simulation heuristic, and ease of recall (e.g., Schwarz et al., 1991), as well as possible moderators of depressed individuals' judgments of future events.
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This chapter reviews the lines of research that grew out of this accidental discovery called the cognitive-initiative framework. After reviewing some studies, both old and new, that illustrate the framework, the chapter discusses the broader interpretation and related approaches. The contribution of the initiative framework is to emphasize the importance of attentional control during unstructured conditions. It is important to know whether such control is disruptive, irrelevant, or beneficial to performance on the memory task. When it is beneficial, external mean can be used to focus attention appropriately. Whether guidance remediates depression-related impairments, however, depends on a careful analysis of the cognitive procedures that are instrumental to successful performance. Investigators of depression-related impairments must move beyond the mere assertion that attention is diverted by personal concerns to an understanding of the specific procedures involved in producing and remediating the impairments. A proper understanding of a phenomenon can be shown by its experimental reduction or elimination.