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Decoding the emotional valence of future thoughts

Abstract
Affective future thinking allows us to prepare for future outcomes, but we know little about neural representation of emotional future simulations. We used a multi-voxel pattern analysis to determine whether patterns of neural activity can reliably distinguish between positive and negative future simulations. Neural patterning in the anterior cingulate and ventromedial prefrontal cortices distinguished positive from negative future simulations, indicating that these regions code for the emotional valence of future events. These results support prior findings that anterior medial regions contain representations of emotions across various stimuli, and contribute to identifying potential rewarding outcomes of future events. More broadly, these results demonstrate that the phenomenological features of future thinking can be decoded using neural activity.
Type
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Series
Citation
Devitt, A. L., Thakral, P. P., & Schacter, D. L. (2021). Decoding the emotional valence of future thoughts. Cognitive Neuroscience, 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1080/17588928.2021.1906638
Date
2021
Publisher
Informa UK Limited
Degree
Supervisors
Rights
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Cognitive Neuroscience on April 30, 2021, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17588928.2021.1906638.