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  A neural mechanism mediating the impact of episodic prospection on farsighted decisions

Benoit, R. G., Gilbert, S. J., & Burgess, P. W. (2011). A neural mechanism mediating the impact of episodic prospection on farsighted decisions. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31(18), 6771-6779. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6559-10.2011.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-7D22-F Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-D41B-4
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Benoit, Roland G.1, 2, Author              
Gilbert, Sam J.2, Author
Burgess, Paul W.2, Author
Affiliations:
1MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
2Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: Humans can vividly imagine possible future events. This faculty, episodic prospection, allows the simulation of distant outcomes and desires. Here, we provide evidence for the adaptive function of this capacity and elucidate its neuronal basis. Participants either imagined specific events of spending money (e.g., £35 in 180 days at a pub), or merely estimated what the money could purchase in the scenario. Imagining the future biased subsequent monetary decisions toward choices associated with a higher long-term pay-off. It thus effectively attenuated temporal discounting, i.e., the propensity to devalue rewards with a delay until delivery. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we implicate the medial rostral prefrontal cortex (mrPFC) in this effect. Blood oxygen level-dependent signal in this region predicted future-oriented choices on a trial-by-trial basis. Activation reflected the reward magnitude of imagined episodes, and greater reward sensitivity was related to less discounting. This effect was also associated with increased mrPFC–hippocampal coupling. The data suggest that mrPFC uses information conveyed by the hippocampus to represent the undiscounted utility of envisaged events. The immediate experience of the delayed reward value might then bias toward farsighted decisions.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2011-02-172010-12-142011-03-082011-05-04
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.6559-10.2011
 Degree: -

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Title: The Journal of Neuroscience
  Other : The Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  Abbreviation : J. Neurosci.
Source Genre: Journal
 Creator(s):
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Publ. Info: Washington, DC : Society of Neuroscience
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 31 (18) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 6771 - 6779 Identifier: ISSN: 0270-6474
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925502187_1