Previous research has shown that depressed individuals demonstrate a number of biases in their ability to retrieve past events and simulate future events. The current study investigated the content and phenomenological experience of past and future events in dysphoric and non-dysphoric individuals. Results indicated that dysphoric, compared with non-dysphoric, individuals reported fewer positive events across both temporal directions. Furthermore, phenomenological characteristics ratings suggested that dysphoric individuals saw future, but not past, events as less vivid, coherent, sensorially detailed, bodily experienced, emotionally intense and important with respect to their life story and identity. These findings are discussed with reference to theories regarding the functions of ‘mental time travel’, in particular how the muted subjective experience of future episodes in depression may impair future planning, problem-solving and self regulation.
Anderson, R. J., & Evans, G. L. (2015). Mental time travel in dysphoria: Differences in the content and subjective experience of past and future episodes. Consciousness and cognition, 37, 237-248. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2014.05.006