, 2007). These findings fit well with behavioral research showing a positivity bias when people remember simulations of positive, negative, and neutral future events: details associated with negative simulations
are remembered more poorly over time compared with details associated with positive or neutral simulations (Szpunar et al., 2012; see also, MI-773 mw Gallo et al., 2011). Emotional factors also play a role in the well-established finding that repeatedly simulating a future event makes that event seem more probable (for review of early studies, see Koehler, 1991). Szpunar and Schacter (2012) recently reported that after repeatedly simulating personal events that might occur in one’s future, the subjective plausibility of those events increases, but the effect was observed only for positive and negative events, and not for neutral events. Research investigating the neural basis of this cognitive
bias could benefit from studies that have begun to examine the neural underpinnings of emotional simulations (e.g., D’Argembeau et al., 2008b; Sharot et al., 2007). Another promising domain centers on the phenomenon of temporal discounting: people typically Bax protein devalue a future reward according to the extent of delay before the reward is delivered ( Green and Myerson, 2004). Boyer (2008) argued that a key adaptive function of the
ability to simulate future events based on past experience is to allow individuals to represent emotional aspects of future reward in a way that overrides temporal discounting so as to produce less impulsive and more farsighted decisions. Two recent studies have shown that when people imagine experiencing a reward in the future, they show Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase an increased tendency to favor reward that produce greater long-term payoffs, thereby countering the normal tendency to devalue delayed reward ( Benoit et al., 2011; Peters and Büchel, 2010; for related results, see Mitchell et al., 2011). Moreover, the results of fMRI scanning carried out during this procedure showed that the effects of episodic simulation on temporal discounting are associated with increased coupling between activity in the hippocampus and prefrontal ( Benoit et al., 2011) or anterior cingulate ( Peters and Büchel, 2010) regions involved in reward-related processing. These findings could provide a basis for investigating effects of simulation on discounting, and its neural underpinnings, in populations prone to impulsive decision making such as drug addicts (e.g., Bechara, 2005). Importantly, Kwan et al.