References of "Stawarczyk, David"
     in
Bookmark and Share    
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailRelationships between mind-wandering and attentional control abilities in young adults and adolescents
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; Catale, Corinne ULg et al

in Acta Psychologica (2014), 148

Recent findings suggest that mind-wandering—the occurrence of thoughts that are both stimulus-independent and task-unrelated—corresponds to temporary failures in attentional control processes involved in ... [more ▼]

Recent findings suggest that mind-wandering—the occurrence of thoughts that are both stimulus-independent and task-unrelated—corresponds to temporary failures in attentional control processes involved in maintaining constant task-focused attention. Studies supporting this proposal are, however, limited by a possible confound between mind-wandering episodes and other kinds of conscious experiences, such as external distractions (i.e., interoceptive sensations and exteroceptive perceptions). In the present study, we addressed this issue by examining, in adolescents and young adults, the relations between tasks measuring attentional control abilities and a measure of mind-wandering that is distinct from external distractions. We observed (1) that adolescents experienced more frequent external distractions, but not more mind-wandering, than young adults during the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) and (2) that, in young adults, the influence of external distractions on SART performance was fully accounted for by attentional control abilities, whereas mind-wandering was associated with decreases in SART performance above and beyond what was explained by attentional control abilities. These results show that mind-wandering cannot be entirely reduced to failures in the ability to maintain one’s attention focused on task, and suggest that external distractions rather than mind-wandering are due to attentional control failures. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 28 (6 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailPhenomenology of future-oriented mind-wandering episodes
Stawarczyk, David ULg; CASSOL, Héléna ULg; D'Argembeau, Arnaud ULg

in Frontiers in Psychology (2013), 4

Recent research suggests that prospective and non-prospective forms of mind-wandering possess distinct properties, yet little is known about what exactly differentiates between future-oriented and non ... [more ▼]

Recent research suggests that prospective and non-prospective forms of mind-wandering possess distinct properties, yet little is known about what exactly differentiates between future-oriented and non-future-oriented mind-wandering episodes. In the present study, we used multilevel exploratory factor analyses to examine the factorial structure of various phenomenological dimensions of mind-wandering, and we then investigated whether future-oriented mind-wandering episodes differ from other classes of mind-wandering along the identified factors. We found that the phenomenological dimensions of mind-wandering are structured in four factors: representational format (inner speech vs. visual imagery), personal relevance, realism/concreteness, and structuration. Prospective mind-wandering differed from non-prospective mind-wandering along each of these factors. Specifically, future-oriented mind-wandering episodes involved inner speech to a greater extent, were more personally relevant, more realistic/concrete, and more often part of structured sequences of thoughts. These results show that future-oriented mind-wandering possesses a unique phenomenological signature and provide new insights into how this particular form of mind-wandering may adaptively contribute to autobiographical planning. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 23 (4 ULg)
Full Text
See detailLe vagabondage de l'esprit : aspects cognitifs, affectifs et neuronaux des pensées découplées des situations et tâches en cours
Stawarczyk, David ULg

Doctoral thesis (2013)

Dans ce travail de thèse, nous avons défini et validé une conceptualisation plus précise du vagabondage de l’esprit en tant que pensées à la fois stimulus-indépendantes et non-liées à la tâche en cours en ... [more ▼]

Dans ce travail de thèse, nous avons défini et validé une conceptualisation plus précise du vagabondage de l’esprit en tant que pensées à la fois stimulus-indépendantes et non-liées à la tâche en cours en distinguant clairement celles-ci des pensées interférentes liées à la tâche et des distractions externes. À l’aide de cette conceptualisation, nous avons exploré quatre aspects peu étudiés ou sujets à débats du vagabondage de l’esprit que sont les fonctions possibles de ce phénomène, ses soubassements cérébraux, le lien qu’il entretient avec les capacités de contrôle de l’attention, ainsi que la nature de la relation entre le vagabondage de l’esprit et les affects négatifs. Les résultats des études réalisées au sein de ce travail suggèrent qu’une fonction importante du vagabondage de l’esprit concerne la planification et la préparation des évènements futurs en lien avec nos buts et projets personnels. Notre travail démontre par ailleurs que le vagabondage de l’esprit est sous-tendu par un ensemble spécifique de régions cérébrales (généralement référenciées sous le terme de réseau du mode par défaut) et que ce phénomène représente plus que des échecs au niveau des processus de contrôle de l’attention en impliquant notamment un état d’attention découplée de l’environnement présent. Nous avons également montré que le vagabondage de l’esprit peut résulter d’une augmentation des affects négatifs et que sa présence est associée au maintien de ces affects dans le temps. Le fait que les individus qui vagabondent le plus en pensées font l’expérience d’un plus haut taux d’affects négatifs pourrait être expliqué par une moindre conscience et attention portées au moment présent. Sur base de ces résultats, nous avons proposé une perspective intégrative du vagabondage de l’esprit qui suppose que ce phénomène représente l’accès à la conscience, à travers un espace de travail global limité, des processus de mise à jour des scripts, schémas et plans stockés en mémoire à long terme et sous-tendus par le réseau du mode par défaut. La fonction de ces scripts, schémas et plans serait de guider les comportements des individus en formant une plate-forme cognitive impliquée dans la génération de prédictions relatives au futur. Nous avons dès lors proposé que le vagabondage de l’esprit peut représenter un phénomène adaptatif mais uniquement lorsque les bénéfices de ces pensées en termes de préparation et de planification du futur dépassent leurs conséquences délétères sur la qualité de l’attention portée à la tâche en cours et au moment présent. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 89 (12 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailConcern-induced negative affect is associated with the occurrence and content of mind-wandering
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; D'Argembeau, Arnaud ULg

in Consciousness & Cognition (2013), 22(2), 442-448

Previous research has shown that the content and frequency of mind-wandering episodes—the occurrence of thoughts that are both stimulus-independent and task-unrelated—are closely related to an ... [more ▼]

Previous research has shown that the content and frequency of mind-wandering episodes—the occurrence of thoughts that are both stimulus-independent and task-unrelated—are closely related to an individual’s future-related concerns. Whether this relationship is shaped by the affective changes that are usually associated with future-related concerns still remains unclear, however. In this study, we induced the anticipation of a negatively valenced event and examined whether the ensuing affective changes were related to the occurrence and content of mind-wandering during an unrelated attentional task. We found that the increase in negative affect following concern induction predicted the general frequency of mind-wandering episodes. Furthermore, mind-wandering episodes specifically directed at the induced concern were related to a lower decrease in negative affect during the attentional task. These results suggest that the negative emotional impact of future-related concerns is an important factor to be taken into consideration for the subsequent occurrence of mind-wandering episodes, which might in turn be involved in the maintenance of negative affect over time. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 32 (9 ULg)
See detailMind-wandering and attentional control: two sides of the same coin or independent processes?
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; D'Argembeau, Arnaud ULg

Conference (2012, May 11)

Mind-wandering refers to the occurrence of thoughts whose content is both unrelated to the task that we are currently carrying out and decoupled from current sensory perceptions (e.g., having our mind ... [more ▼]

Mind-wandering refers to the occurrence of thoughts whose content is both unrelated to the task that we are currently carrying out and decoupled from current sensory perceptions (e.g., having our mind distracted by past memories or future concerns when reading a novel). Recent frameworks suggest that the occurrence of mind-wandering reflects temporary breakdowns in attentional control processes. Other proposals however consider that mind-wandering is a cognitive process of its own, independent of attentional control. Based on the dual mechanisms of control framework (Braver et al., 2007), we examined whether proactive and reactive attentional control processes (measured with the A-X Continuous Performance Test), as well as working memory capacity (WMC), are related to the occurrence of mind-wandering during the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART). Results showed that WMC was positively related to proactive but not reactive control, while the frequency of mind-wandering was unrelated to these three measures of attentional control. Additionally, we found that proactive control, reactive control, WMC, and mind-wandering contributed significantly and independently to the prediction of commission errors during the SART. These results suggest that mind-wandering is not the mere reflection of attentional control abilities and that these two factors have separate influences on task performance. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 89 (7 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailUsing the daydreaming frequency scale to investigate the relationships between mind-wandering, psychological well-being, and present-moment awareness
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; Van der Linden, Martial ULg et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2012), 3

Recent findings have shown that mind-wandering – the occurrence of stimulusindependent and task-unrelated thoughts – is associated with negative affect and lower psychological well-being. However, it ... [more ▼]

Recent findings have shown that mind-wandering – the occurrence of stimulusindependent and task-unrelated thoughts – is associated with negative affect and lower psychological well-being. However, it remains unclear whether this relationship is due to the occurrence of mind-wandering per se or to the fact that people who mind wander more tend to be generally less attentive to present-moment experience. In three studies, we first validate a French translation of a retrospective self-report questionnaire widely used to assess the general occurrence of mind-wandering in daily life – the Daydreaming Frequency Scale. Using this questionnaire, we then show that the relationship between mind-wandering frequency and psychological distress is fully accounted for by individual differences in dispositional mindful awareness and encoding style.These findings suggest that it may not be mind-wandering per se that is responsible for psychological distress, but rather the general tendency to be less aware and attentive to the present-moment. Thus, although mind-wandering and present-moment awareness are related constructs, they are not reducible to one another, and are distinguishable in terms of their relationship with psychological well-being. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 53 (14 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailAttention Supports Verbal Short-Term Memory via Competition between Dorsal and Ventral Attention Networks.
Majerus, Steve ULg; Attout, Lucie ULg; D'Argembeau, Arnaud ULg et al

in Cerebral Cortex (2012), 22

Interactions between the neural correlates of short-term memory (STM) and attention have been actively studied in the visual STM domain but much less in the verbal STM domain. Here we show that the same ... [more ▼]

Interactions between the neural correlates of short-term memory (STM) and attention have been actively studied in the visual STM domain but much less in the verbal STM domain. Here we show that the same attention mechanisms that have been shown to shape the neural networks of visual STM also shape those of verbal STM. Based on previous research in visual STM, we contrasted the involvement of a dorsal attention network centered on the intraparietal sulcus supporting task-related attention and a ventral attention network centered on the temporoparietal junction supporting stimulus-related attention. We observed that, with increasing STM load, the dorsal attention network was activated while the ventral attention network was deactivated, especially during early maintenance. Importantly, activation in the ventral attention network increased in response to task-irrelevant stimuli briefly presented during the maintenance phase of the STM trials but only during low-load STM conditions, which were associated with the lowest levels of activity in the dorsal attention network during encoding and early maintenance. By demonstrating a trade-off between task-related and stimulus-related attention networks during verbal STM, this study highlights the dynamics of attentional processes involved in verbal STM. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 154 (32 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailPerceptual and motor abilities in normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease: a preliminary study
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Grandjean, Julien ULg; Salmon, Eric ULg et al

in Archives of Gerontology & Geriatrics (2012), 54

Deficits in inhibitory abilities are frequently observed in normal aging and Alzheimer disease (AD). However, few studies have explored the generality of these deficits in a single group of participants ... [more ▼]

Deficits in inhibitory abilities are frequently observed in normal aging and Alzheimer disease (AD). However, few studies have explored the generality of these deficits in a single group of participants. A battery of tasks assessing perceptual and motor inhibitory functioning was administered to young and older healthy participants (Study 1), as well as to mild Alzheimer patients (Study 2). Results did not agree with a selective impairment of motor or perceptual inhibition in either AD or normal aging but rather suggest that a decrease in cognitive resources available in working memory could explain inhibitory performance both in normal aging and AD. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 37 (4 ULg)
See detailPhenomenology, function, and neural correlates of mind-wandering
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; D'Argembeau, Arnaud ULg

Conference (2011, May 27)

Mind-wandering refers to the occurrence of thoughts whose content is both decoupled from stimuli present in the immediate environment and unrelated to the task currently being carried out. In a series of ... [more ▼]

Mind-wandering refers to the occurrence of thoughts whose content is both decoupled from stimuli present in the immediate environment and unrelated to the task currently being carried out. In a series of experiments, we used a newly designed experience sampling method to assess mind-wandering episodes and to distinguish them from other kinds of distractions (irrelevant interoceptive/exteroceptive sensory perceptions and interfering thoughts related to the appraisal of the current task). In Experiment 1, we examined the impact of mind-wandering on performance of the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART; a Go/No-Go task). Analyses demonstrated that episodes of mind-wandering impair SART performance to the same extent as irrelevant sensory perceptions. In Experiment 2, we focused on the content of mind-wandering in order to assess its possible functions. We observed that most of reported mind-wandering episodes refer to the anticipation and planning of future events. Furthermore, this “prospective bias” was increased when participants’ attention had been oriented toward their personal goals prior to performing the SART. In Experiment 3, we examined the neural correlates of mind-wandering using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The results showed that the brain regions that were more active during episodes of mind-wandering are similar to the regions that have been associated with imagining future events in previous studies. Together, these results suggest that although episodes of mind-wandering negatively impact current task performance, they may have important adaptive value and could, in particular, play a key role in planning for the future. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 82 (5 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailNeural Correlates of Ongoing Conscious Experience: Both Task-Unrelatedness and Stimulus-Independence Are Related to Default Network Activity
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; Maquet, Pierre ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2011), 6(2), 16997

The default mode network (DMN) is a set of brain regions that consistently shows higher activity at rest compared to tasks requiring sustained focused attention toward externally presented stimuli. The ... [more ▼]

The default mode network (DMN) is a set of brain regions that consistently shows higher activity at rest compared to tasks requiring sustained focused attention toward externally presented stimuli. The cognitive processes that the DMN possibly underlies remain a matter of debate. It has alternately been proposed that DMN activity reflects unfocused attention toward external stimuli or the occurrence of internally generated thoughts. The present study aimed at clarifying this issue by investigating the neural correlates of the various kinds of conscious experiences that can occur during task performance. Four classes of conscious experiences (i.e., being fully focused on the task, distractions by irrelevant sensations/perceptions, interfering thoughts related to the appraisal of the task, and mind-wandering) that varied along two dimensions (“task-relatedness” and “stimulus-dependency”) were sampled using thought-probes while the participants performed a go/no-go task. Analyses performed on the intervals preceding each probe according to the reported subjective experience revealed that both dimensions are relevant to explain activity in several regions of the DMN, namely the medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus, and posterior inferior parietal lobe. Notably, an additive effect of the two dimensions was demonstrated for midline DMN regions. On the other hand, lateral temporal regions (also part of the DMN) were specifically related to stimulus-independent reports. These results suggest that midline DMN regions underlie cognitive processes that are active during both internal thoughts and external unfocused attention. They also strengthen the view that the DMN can be fractionated into different subcomponents and reveal the necessity to consider both the stimulus-dependent and the task-related dimensions of conscious experiences when studying the possible functional roles of the DMN. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 86 (11 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailMind-wandering: Phenomenology and function as assessed with a novel experience sampling method
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; Maj, Michalina et al

in Acta Psychologica (2011), 136(3), 370-381

Mind-wandering refers to the occurrence of thoughts whose content is both decoupled from stimuli present in the current environment and unrelated to the task being carried out at the moment of their ... [more ▼]

Mind-wandering refers to the occurrence of thoughts whose content is both decoupled from stimuli present in the current environment and unrelated to the task being carried out at the moment of their occurrence. The core of this phenomenon is therefore stimulus-independent and task-unrelated thoughts (SITUTs). In the present study, we designed a novel experience sampling method which permitted to isolate SITUTs from other kinds of distractions (i.e., irrelevant interoceptive/exteroceptive sensory perceptions and interfering thoughts related to the appraisal of the current task). In Experiment 1, we examined the impact of SITUTs on the performance of the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART; a Go/No-Go task). Analyses demonstrated that SITUTs impair SART performance to the same extent as irrelevant sensory perceptions. In Experiment 2, we further examined SITUTs in order to assess the possible functions of mind-wandering. We observed that the content of most of reported SITUTs refers to the anticipation and planning of future events. Furthermore, this “prospective bias” was increased when participants’ attention had been oriented toward their personal goals before performing the SART. These data support the view that an important function of mind-wandering relates to the anticipation and planning of the future. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 94 (10 ULg)
Full Text
See detailDéficits d’inhibition dans le vieillissement normal et la maladie d’Alzheimer: pas d’atteinte spécifique aux niveaux de traitement perceptif ou moteur
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Grandjean, Julien ULg; Salmon, Eric ULg et al

Poster (2010, September 24)

Introduction. Une diminution des capacités d’inhibition est fréquemment observée dans le vieillissement normal et la maladie d’Alzheimer. Toutefois, peu d’études ont exploré la généralité de ces déficits ... [more ▼]

Introduction. Une diminution des capacités d’inhibition est fréquemment observée dans le vieillissement normal et la maladie d’Alzheimer. Toutefois, peu d’études ont exploré la généralité de ces déficits au sein d’un groupe unique de participants. Objectif. Déterminer si les déficits d’inhibition présents dans le vieillissement normal et la maladie d’Alzheimer sont en accord avec la distinction entre inhibition perceptive et inhibition motrice proposée par Dempster et Corkill (1999). Méthode. Nous avons administré une large batterie d’épreuves d’inhibition à un groupe de participants jeunes, de participants âgés sains et de patients souffrant de maladie d’Alzheimer. L’inhibition perceptive a été évaluée au moyen des épreuves de Stroop et de priming négatif, de la tâche des ailiers et d’une tâche de résolution de conflit perceptif ; l’inhibition motrice a quant à elle été évaluée au moyen de tâches de go/no-go, de stop-signal, d’antisaccade et de résolution de conflit moteur. Résultats. Les résultats obtenus indiquent la présence d’un pattern mixte de déficits, incluant à la fois des épreuves d’inhibition motrice et d’inhibition perceptive, aussi bien chez les sujets âgés sains que chez les patients souffrant de la maladie d’Alzheimer. Des différences qualitatives de performance ont également été observées entre les deux groupes de sujets âgés. Discussion. Nos résultats ne sont pas en la faveur d’une distinction entre inhibition motrice et perceptive. Les déficits d’inhibition observés dans le vieillissement normal peuvent être interprétés dans le sens d’une diminution générale des ressources de traitement tandis que les déficits des patients Alzheimer peuvent être attribués à une capacité réduite de résistance à l’interférence provenant d’informations non pertinentes dans l’environnement externe de la personne. La présence de différences qualitatives de performance entre les deux groupes de sujets âgés semble indiquer que la maladie d’Alzheimer ne consiste pas en une simple accentuation des difficultés déjà observées lors du vieillissement normal. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 109 (3 ULg)
Full Text
See detailUsing phenomenology and mindset induction to assess the prospective function of mind-wandering
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; D'Argembeau, Arnaud ULg

Poster (2010, May 28)

A notable feature of the human cognitive apparatus resides in its propensity to spontaneously generate thoughts uncoupled from the “here and now”. An important function of these cognitions, often referred ... [more ▼]

A notable feature of the human cognitive apparatus resides in its propensity to spontaneously generate thoughts uncoupled from the “here and now”. An important function of these cognitions, often referred to as mind-wandering, might be to create and/or update scripts, schemata, and future plans in long-term memory. In this study, we investigated this hypothesis by examining whether priming personal projects influenced the occurrence and characteristics of mind-wandering episodes during a subsequent, unrelated cognitive task, as assessed with an experience sampling method. We found that inducing particular mindsets that were related to personal goals (i.e., writing an essay about one’s personal projects) in comparison to a control baseline condition (i.e., writing an essay about a familiar itinerary) increased the number of future-oriented mind-wandering reports while participants performed the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART). Furthermore, participants judged most of these thoughts as having a future-oriented function (i.e., they were related to planning, decision making, or reevaluating situations). Finally, as behavioral validation of participants’ subjective reports, we found that mind-wandering was positively linked with intra-individual variability (IIV) in response times, whereas reports of being concentrated on the SART were negatively linked with IIV. These data support the view that an important function of mind-wandering resides in the anticipation and planning of the future. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 49 (1 ULg)
Full Text
See detailLe rôle du vagabondage de l’esprit dans le maintien d’un état anxiété
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Blanchy, Sarah ULg; D'Argembeau, Arnaud ULg

Poster (2010, May 25)

Le vagabondage de l’esprit (c’est-à-dire, l’apparition spontanée de pensées prenant leur origine dans la mémoire à long-terme et sans lien avec la tâche en cours de réalisation) est un phénomène fréquent ... [more ▼]

Le vagabondage de l’esprit (c’est-à-dire, l’apparition spontanée de pensées prenant leur origine dans la mémoire à long-terme et sans lien avec la tâche en cours de réalisation) est un phénomène fréquent qui représente en moyenne 10 à 30% de nos pensées journalières. Les recherches dans le domaine suggèrent que ce type de pensées est lié à la gestion de nos préoccupations actuelles et que sa fréquence peut être augmentée par l’induction d’affects négatifs. Cependant, le rôle possible de ces pensées dans le maintien des affects négatifs est encore mal connu. Dans cette étude, une préoccupation anxiogène (supposément devoir réaliser un discours filmé) ou une préoccupation neutre (supposément devoir réaliser une tâche cognitive de réflexion) a été induite immédiatement avant la réalisation d’une tâche exécutive d’inhibition durant laquelle la fréquence et le contenu des pensées distractives ont été évalués. Trois mesures de l’état émotionnel des participants ont été réalisées : (1) au début de la session, (2) après l’induction de la préoccupation et (3) après la tâche exécutive. Les résultats montrent la présence d’un plus grand nombre de pensées distractives liées à la préoccupation induite, d’un plus grand nombre d’erreurs d’inhibition ainsi que d’une augmentation significative des affects négatifs entre les temps 1 et 2 dans la condition anxiogène par rapport à la condition neutre. Par ailleurs, une corrélation négative entre le nombre de pensées distractives liées au discours et la diminution de l’anxiété entre les temps 2 et 3 est observée. Ces résultats démontrent l’importance des cognitions anticipatoires spontanées dans le maintient de l’anxiété. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 78 (14 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailModulation of medial prefrontal and inferior parietal cortices when thinking about past, present, and future selves.
D'Argembeau, Arnaud ULg; Stawarczyk, David ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg et al

in Social Neuroscience (2010), 5

Recent functional neuroimaging studies have shown that reflecting on representations of the present self versus temporally distant selves is associated with higher activity in the medial prefrontal cortex ... [more ▼]

Recent functional neuroimaging studies have shown that reflecting on representations of the present self versus temporally distant selves is associated with higher activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). In the current fMRI study, we investigated whether this effect of temporal perspective is symmetrical between the past and future. The main results revealed that the MPFC showed higher activity when reflecting on the present self than when reflecting on past and future selves, with no difference between past and future selves. Temporal perspective also modulated activity in the right inferior parietal cortex but in the opposite direction, activity in this brain region being higher when reflecting on past and future selves relative to the present self (with again no difference between past and future selves). These findings show that differences in brain activity when thinking about current versus temporally distant selves are symmetrical between the past and the future. It is suggested that by processing degrees of self-relatedness, the MPFC might sustain the process of identifying oneself with current representations of the self, whereas the right inferior parietal cortex might be involved in distinguishing the present self from temporally distant selves. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 194 (15 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailThe neural basis of personal goal processing when envisioning future events
D'Argembeau, Arnaud ULg; Stawarczyk, David ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg et al

in Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2010), 22

Abstract Episodic future thinking allows humans to mentally simulate virtually infinite future possibilities, yet this device is fundamentally goal-directed and should not be equated with fantasizing or ... [more ▼]

Abstract Episodic future thinking allows humans to mentally simulate virtually infinite future possibilities, yet this device is fundamentally goal-directed and should not be equated with fantasizing or wishful thinking. The purpose of this functional magnetic resonance imaging study was to investigate the neural basis of such goal-directed processing during future-event simulation. Participants were scanned while they imagined future events that were related to their personal goals (personal future events) and future events that were plausible but unrelated to their personal goals (nonpersonal future events). Results showed that imaging personal future events elicited stronger activation in ventral medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) compared to imaging nonpersonal future events. Moreover, these brain activations overlapped with activations elicited by a second task that assessed semantic self-knowledge (i.e., making judgments on one's own personality traits), suggesting that ventral MPFC and PCC mediate self-referential processing across different functional domains. It is suggested that these brain regions may support a collection of processes that evaluate, code, and contextualize the relevance of mental representations with regard to personal goals. The implications of these findings for the understanding of the function instantiated by the default network of the brain are also discussed. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 163 (19 ULg)