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  Medial prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortical thickness predicts shared individual differences in self-generated thought and temporal discounting

Bernhardt, B. C., Smallwood, J., Tusche, A., Ruby, F. J. M., Engen, H. G., Steinbeis, N., et al. (2014). Medial prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortical thickness predicts shared individual differences in self-generated thought and temporal discounting. NeuroImage, 90, 290-297. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.12.040.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-CF8B-8 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-7F73-E
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Bernhardt, Boris C.1, Author              
Smallwood, Jonathan1, 2, Author              
Tusche, Anita1, Author              
Ruby, Florence J. M.1, 2, Author              
Engen, Haakon G.1, Author              
Steinbeis, Nikolaus1, Author              
Singer, Tania1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634552              
2Department of Psychology, University of York, Heslington, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: When deprived of compelling perceptual input, the mind is often occupied with thoughts unrelated to the immediate environment. Previous behavioral research has shown that this self-generated task-unrelated thought (TUT), especially under non-demanding conditions, relates to cognitive capacities such as creativity, planning, and reduced temporal discounting. Despite the frequency and importance of this type of cognition, little is known about its structural brain basis. Using MRI-based cortical thickness measures in 37 participants, we were able to show that individuals with a higher tendency to engage in TUT under low-demanding conditions (but not under high-demanding conditions) show an increased thickness of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and anterior/midcingulate cortex. Thickness of these regions also related to less temporal discounting (TD) of monetary rewards in an economic task, indicative of more patient decision-making. The findings of a shared structural substrate in mPFC and anterior/midcingulate cortex underlying both TUT and TD suggest an important role of these brain regions in supporting the self-generation of information that is unrelated to the immediate environment and which may be adaptive in nature.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2013-12-222013-12-302014-04-15
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.12.040
PMID: 24384154
Other: Epub 2013
 Degree: -

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Title: NeuroImage
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Orlando, FL : Academic Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 90 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 290 - 297 Identifier: ISSN: 1053-8119
CoNE: /journals/resource/954922650166