future thinking
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2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 115
Claire Boutoleau-Bretonnière ◽  
Estelle Lamy ◽  
Mohamad El Haj

Recent research has assessed pupil size during past thinking in patients with retrograde amnesia. Building on this research, we assessed pupil size during future thinking in a retrograde amnesia patient. To this end, we measured pupil size during past and future thinking in L, a 19-year-old, right-handed man free of neurological/psychiatric disorders except for retrograde amnesia that occurred after an episode of fugue. During a past thinking condition, we invited L to retrieve retrograde events (i.e., events that occurred before amnesia) and anterograde events (i.e., events that occurred after amnesia). During a future thinking condition, we invited him to imagine events that might occur the following week, the following month, and in the new year. Past and future thinking occurred while L’s pupil size was monitored with eye-tracking glasses. L demonstrated higher specificity during future than during past thinking. Critically, the results demonstrated a larger pupil size during future than during past thinking. The larger pupil size during future thinking observed in L can be attributed to the high cognitive load involved in future thinking. Our study not only demonstrates preserved future thinking in a patient with dissociative retrograde amnesia, but also shows that pupillometry can be used for the physiological assessment of future thinking in retrograde amnesia patients.

Ángel García-Pérez ◽  
Gema Aonso-Diego ◽  
Sara Weidberg ◽  
Roberto Secades-Villa

Abstract Rationale Reinforcer pathology (RP) is a theoretical model based on two processes: delay discounting (DD) and drug demand. Given that RP has been shown to have a predictive value on smoking behaviors, several studies have explored which interventions can reduce RP. Consistent with the RP framework, episodic future thinking (EFT) has shown effects on treatment outcomes and RP processes. The vast majority of studies that assess the effects of EFT on RP consist of experimental studies, and no previous research has tested these effects in a clinical sample of smokers. Objectives The primary aim of this study was to assess the effects of EFT on RP throughout the course of a smoking cessation intervention in smokers with substance use disorders (SUDs). Methods Participants were randomized to cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) + EFT (n = 39) or CBT + EFT + contingency management (n = 33). Cotinine, frequency of EFT practices, cigarette purchase task (CPT), and DD were evaluated in treatment sessions. Mixed-effects model repeated measures analysis was used to explore DD and CPT in-treatment changes as a function of EFT practices and cotinine levels. Results Greater practice of the EFT component significantly reduced cigarette demand (p < .020) as well as DD (p = .003). Additionally, a greater reduction in cotinine levels coupled with greater EFT practice led to a greater decrease in cigarette demand (p < .014). Conclusions EFT reduced the two facets of RP in treatment-seeking smokers with SUDs.

Leonard H. Epstein ◽  
Rocco A. Paluch ◽  
Mathew J. Biondolillo ◽  
Jeff S. Stein ◽  
Teresa Quattrin ◽  

2022 ◽  
Nicole Desiree Montijn ◽  
Lotte Gerritsen ◽  
Dana van Son ◽  
Iris M Engelhard

Expectations have an important role in guiding behavior and the interpretation of novel information, but can contain negative biases such as is the case in anxiety disorders. Positive future thinking may provide an accessible way to attenuate these negatively biases. However, much is still unclear about the optimal form of such positive interventions, and it is unknown if the effects go beyond subjective experience. Here, we used a positive future thinking intervention to adapt the way a stressful event is experienced. Participants imagined either task-relevant (N = 21) or irrelevant (N = 21) positive future events before being subjected to the Trier Social Stress Task, or did not receive the intervention (N= 20). We recorded resting state EEG during the anticipation and recovery phases of the TSST to assess intervention and trait anxiety related differences in the level of frontal delta-beta coupling, which is considered a neurobiological substrate of emotion regulation. Results show that the intervention reduces event-related stress and anxiety, and increases social fixation behavior and task performance, but only if future thinking is task relevant. Paradoxically, task-irrelevant positive future thoughts enhance negative perceptual biases and stress reactivity. This increase in stress reactivity in the task-irrelevant group was corroborated by the elevated levels frontal delta-beta coupling during event anticipation, especially for those with high trait anxiety. This suggests an increased demand for emotion regulation following the task-irrelevant intervention, possibly due to the contextual incongruence between positive imagery and the stressor. Together, these results show that positive future thinking can mitigate the negative emotional, behavioral and neurobiological consequences of a stressful event, but that it should not be applied indiscriminately. Task-relevant positive future thinking can be an accessible way to boost efficacy of exposure therapy for pathological anxiety, and can help people deal with negative anticipation in daily life.

Christine B. Cha ◽  
Donald J. Robinaugh ◽  
Daniel L. Schacter ◽  
Gizem Altheimer ◽  
Brian P. Marx ◽  

2022 ◽  
Vol Volume 16 ◽  
pp. 95-104
Leonard H Epstein ◽  
Tatiana Jimenez-Knight ◽  
Anna M Honan ◽  
Rocco A Paluch ◽  
Warren K Bickel

Cognition ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 218 ◽  
pp. 104934
Patrick Burns ◽  
Cristina Atance ◽  
A. Patrick O'Connor ◽  
Teresa McCormack

2022 ◽  
Vol 30 (1) ◽  
pp. 110-112
Eileen O'Shaughnessy

2021 ◽  
Vol 19 ◽  
Mohamad El Haj ◽  
Pascal Antoine

Objective: This study assessed the ability of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) to produce “when, where, and who” information during future thinking. Methods: AD patients and control participants were invited to imagine future scenarios. Future thinking was analyzed with respect to the number of “when, where, and who” details. Analysis showed fewer “when, where, and who” details in AD participants than in control participants. Fewer “when” than “where” details and fewer “where” than “who” details were observed in AD and control participants. Results: Production of temporal information in participants with AD was found to be associated with general cognitive functioning, as assessed with the Mini Mental State Exam. Future thinking in AD is mainly associated with reduced contextual information. Conclusion : The diminished ability to construct time-related details during future thinking in AD can be mainly associated with the diminished general cognitive ability in AD, and probably with hippocampal compromise in the disease. We also propose a socio-emotional account according to which, confronted with a limited-time perspective during future thinking, AD patients may tend to maximize their emotional well-being by avoiding time-related information and thinking about friends, family and beloved ones.

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