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Journal Article

Episodic future thinking: Mechanisms and functions

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Benoit,  Roland G.
Max Planck Research Group Adaptive Memory, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Schacter, D. L., Benoit, R. G., & Szpunar, K. K. (2017). Episodic future thinking: Mechanisms and functions. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 17, 41-50. doi:10.1016/j.cobeha.2017.06.002.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-562B-5
Abstract
Episodic future thinking refers to the capacity to imagine or simulate experiences that might occur in one's personal future. Cognitive, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging research concerning episodic future thinking has accelerated during recent years. This article discusses research that has delineated cognitive and neural mechanisms that support episodic future thinking as well as the functions that episodic future thinking serves. Studies focused on mechanisms have identified a core brain network that underlies episodic future thinking and have begun to tease apart the relative contributions of particular regions in this network, and the specific cognitive processes that they support. Studies concerned with functions have identified several domains in which episodic future thinking produces performance benefits, including decision making, emotion regulation, prospective memory, and spatial navigation.