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  Forming attitudes via neural activity supporting affective episodic simulations

Benoit, R. G., Paulus, P. C., & Schacter, D. L. (2019). Forming attitudes via neural activity supporting affective episodic simulations. Nature Communications, 10: 2215. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-09961-w.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-4B29-C Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-9EA5-0
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Benoit, Roland G.1, Author              
Paulus, Philipp C.1, 2, Author              
Schacter, Daniel L.3, Author
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Research Group Adaptive Memory, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_2295691              
2International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication, Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: Humans have the adaptive capacity for imagining hypothetical episodes. Such episodic simulation is based on a neural network that includes the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). This network draws on existing knowledge (e.g., of familiar people and places) to construct imaginary events (e.g., meeting with the person at that place). Here, we test the hypothesis that a simulation changes attitudes towards its constituent elements. In two experiments, we demonstrate how imagining meeting liked versus disliked people (unconditioned stimuli, UCS) at initially neutral places (conditioned stimuli, CS) changes the value of these places. We further provide evidence that the vmPFC codes for representations of those elements (i.e., of individual people and places). Critically, attitude changes induced by the liked UCS are based on a transfer of positive affective value between the representations (i.e., from the UCS to the CS). Thereby, we reveal how mere imaginings shape attitudes towards elements (i.e., places) from our real-life environment.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2018-06-262019-03-292019-05-17
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
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 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-09961-w
PMID: 31101806
PMC: PMC6525197
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Project name : -
Grant ID : MH060941
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Funding organization : National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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Grant ID : S10OD020039
Funding program : National Institutes of Health Shared Instrumentation Grant
Funding organization : Harvard University Center for Brain Sciences
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Funding program : Max Planck Research Group Grant
Funding organization : Max Planck Society

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Title: Nature Communications
  Abbreviation : Nat. Commun.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: London : Nature Publishing Group
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 10 Sequence Number: 2215 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2041-1723
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/2041-1723