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  Reducing future fears by suppressing the brain mechanisms underlying episodic simulation

Benoit, R. G., Davies, D. J., & Anderson, M. C. (2016). Reducing future fears by suppressing the brain mechanisms underlying episodic simulation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(52), E8492-E8501. doi:10.1073/pnas.1606604114.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-2741-D Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-1C17-5
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Benoit, Roland G.1, Author              
Davies, Daniel J.2, Author
Anderson, Michael C.3, 4, Author
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Research Group Adaptive Memory, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_2295691              
2Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
3MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              
4Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Suppression; Episodic simulation; Anxiety Cognitive control; Prefrontal cortex
 Abstract: Imagining future events conveys adaptive benefits, yet recurrent simulations of feared situations may help to maintain anxiety. In two studies, we tested the hypothesis that people can attenuate future fears by suppressing anticipatory simulations of dreaded events. Participants repeatedly imagined upsetting episodes that they feared might happen to them and suppressed imaginings of other such events. Suppressing imagination engaged the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which modulated activation in the hippocampus and in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Consistent with the role of the vmPFC in providing access to details that are typical for an event, stronger inhibition of this region was associated with greater forgetting of such details. Suppression further hindered participants’ ability to later freely envision suppressed episodes. Critically, it also reduced feelings of apprehensiveness about the feared scenario, and individuals who were particularly successful at down-regulating fears were also less trait-anxious. Attenuating apprehensiveness by suppressing simulations of feared events may thus be an effective coping strategy, suggesting that a deficiency in this mechanism could contribute to the development of anxiety.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2016-05-132016-11-112016-12-132016-12-27
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1606604114
PMID: 27965391
PMC: PMC5206570
Other: Epub 2016
 Degree: -

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Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  Other : Proc. Acad. Sci. USA
  Other : Proc. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
  Abbreviation : PNAS
Source Genre: Journal
 Creator(s):
Affiliations:
Publ. Info: Washington, D.C. : National Academy of Sciences
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 113 (52) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: E8492 - E8501 Identifier: ISSN: 0027-8424
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925427230