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  Classifying the wandering mind: Revealing the affective content of thoughts during task-free rest periods

Tusche, A., Smallwood, J., Bernhardt, B. C., & Singer, T. (2014). Classifying the wandering mind: Revealing the affective content of thoughts during task-free rest periods. NeuroImage, 97, 107-116. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.03.076.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0018-7829-6 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-7F70-1
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Tusche, Anita1, Author              
Smallwood, Jonathan2, Author              
Bernhardt, Boris C.1, 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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Free keywords: fMRI; Medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC); Mind-wandering; Multivariate pattern classification; Resting-state; Self-generated mental states
 Abstract: Many powerful human emotional thoughts are generated in the absence of a precipitating event in the environment. Here, we tested whether we can decode the valence of internally driven, self-generated thoughts during task-free rest based on neural similarities with task-related affective mental states. We acquired functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data while participants generated positive and negative thoughts as part of an attribution task (Session A) and while they reported the occurrence of comparable mental states during task-free rest periods (Session B). With the use of multivariate pattern analyses (MVPA), we identified response patterns in the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC) that encode the affective content of thoughts that are generated in response to an external experimental cue. Importantly, these task driven response patterns reliably predicted the occurrence of affective thoughts generated during unconstrained rest periods recorded one week apart. This demonstrates that at least certain elements of task-cued and task-free affective experiences rely on a common neural code. Furthermore, our findings reveal the role that the mOFC plays in determining the affective tone of unconstrained thoughts. More generally, our results suggest that MVPA is an important methodological tool for attempts to understand unguided subject driven mental states such as mind-wandering and daydreaming based on neural similarities with task-based experiences.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2014-03-272014-04-032014-08-15
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.03.076
PMID: 24705200
Other: Epub 2014
 Degree: -

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Title: NeuroImage
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 97 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 107 - 116 Identifier: ISSN: 1053-8119
CoNE: /journals/resource/954922650166