Reducing future fears by suppressing the brain mechanisms underlying episodic simulation Journal Article uri icon



  • Significance; Humans possess the remarkable ability to recombine details of divergent memories into imaginings of future events. Such imaginings are useful, for example, because they foster planning and motivate farsighted decisions. Importantly, recurrently imagining feared situations can also undermine our well-being and may even contribute to the development of anxiety. Here, we demonstrate that fearful imaginings about the future can be inhibited by neural mechanisms that help to suppress the past. Importantly, suppression reduces later apprehensiveness about the feared events, a benefit that was diminished in individuals with greater trait anxiety. This pattern suggests that the observed inhibition mechanism serves to control people‚Äôs future fears and its disruption may foster psychological disorders characterized by intrusive prospective thoughts.

publication date

  • December 27, 2016

has restriction

  • bronze

Date in CU Experts

  • June 18, 2024 5:45 AM

Full Author List

  • Benoit RG; Davies DJ; Anderson MC

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

Additional Document Info


  • 113


  • 52