- •Simulation of past and future events is impaired in multiple sclerosis patients.
- •The deficit affects similarly the two temporal directions.
- •A frontal lobe dysfunction hypothesis is suggested.
- •Results provide new insights into cognitive functioning in multiple sclerosis.
The aims of the present study were (i) to explore autobiographical memory and episodic future thought in multiple sclerosis (MS), using Levine's Autobiographical Interview; (ii) to investigate the influence of the Interview's high retrieval support condition (the specific probe phase) on MS patients' past and future simulations and (iii) to obtain the patients' estimations of their own difficulties, during the test, and in everyday life.
To that end, we examined 39 non-depressed relapsing–remitting MS patients and 34 healthy subjects matched for gender, age and education level. The 73 participants underwent an adapted version of the Autobiographical Interview in two conditions: remembering and imagining personal events. The group of patients also underwent an extended neuropsychological baseline, including particularly, anterograde memory and executive functions.
The results showed that the MS patients' scores on the baseline were mildly or not impaired. On the contrary, the Autobiographical Interview measure, i.e., the mean number of internal details, for each of the two phases of the test – free recall and specific probe – was significantly lower in simulated past and future events in comparison with the healthy controls. Within each group, autobiographical memory performance was superior to episodic future thought performance. A strong positive correlation was observed between past and future mental simulation scores in both groups.
In conclusion, our results showed, for the first time, the co-occurrence of deficit of remembering the past and imagining the future in MS patients. They also showed more difficulty in imagining future events than remembering past events for both patients and normal controls. MS being a neurological condition very frequent in the young adult population, the clinical considerations of our study might be of interest. Indeed, they give rise to new insights on MS patients' daily life difficulties related to impaired mental simulation of personal events despite general abilities, including anterograde memory, only mildly or not impaired.
Abbreviations:AI (Autobiographical Interview), AM (autobiographical memory), EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale), EFT (episodic future thought), MS (multiple sclerosis)
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Journal of the Neurological Sciences
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- Remembering the past and imagining the future: common and distinct neural substrates during event construction and elaboration.Neuropsychologia. 2007; 45: 1363-1377
- Age-related changes in the episodic simulation of future events.Psychol Sci. 2008; 19: 33-41
- Episodic simulation of future events is impaired in mild Alzheimer's disease.Neuropsychologia. 2009; 47: 2660-2671
- Evaluation of seven-subtest short forms of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale — III in a referred sample.Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2011; 16: 1-8
- Autobiographical memory in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease: a comparison between the Levine and Kopelman interview methodologies.Hippocampus. 2012; 22: 1809-1825
- Remembering and forecasting: the relation between autobiographical memory and episodic future thinking.Mem Cogn. 2010; 38: 265-278
- The neural bases of the constructive nature of autobiographical memories studied with a self-paced fMRI design.Memory. 2008; 16: 351-363
- Experiencing past and future personal events: functional neuroimaging evidence on the neural bases of mental time travel.Brain Cogn. 2008; 66: 202-212
- Autobiographical memory: exploring its functions in everyday life.Memory. 2003; 11: 113-123
- Neuropsychological aspects of multiple sclerosis.Neuropsychol Rev. 1998; 8: 43-77
- The Hayling and Brixton tests.Test manual. Thames Valley Test Company, Bury St Edmunds, UK1997
- Une adaptation du test de la tour de londres.Service de Neuropsychologie, Université de Liège, Bruxelles1993
- The Adult Memory and Information Processing Battery.Saint James Hospital, Leeds1985
- Phenomenal characteristics associated with projecting oneself back into the past and forward into the future: influence of valence and temporal distance.Conscious Cogn. 2004; 13: 844-858
- Remembering the past and imagining the future in schizophrenia.J Abnorm Psychol. 2008; 117: 247-251
- Frequency, characteristics and functions of future-oriented thoughts in daily life applied cognitive psychology.Appl Cogn Psychol. 2011; 25: 96-103
- Self-defining future projections: exploring the identity function of thinking about the future.Memory. 2012; 20: 110-120
- Validity of a French version of the fatigue impact scale in multiple sclerosis.Mult Scler. 2007; 13: 1026-1032
- Future thinking in Parkinson's disease: an executive function?.Neuropsychologia. 2012; 50: 1494-1501
- Autobiographical memory in multiple sclerosis patients: assessment and cognitive facilitation.Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2013; 23: 161-181
- Induced brain plasticity after a facilitation programme for autobiographical memory in multiple sclerosis: a preliminary study.Mult Scler Int. 2012; https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/820240
- Episodic future thinking in amnesic mild cognitive impairment.Neuropsychologia. 2010; 48: 2091-2097
- Diagnosis and rehabilitation in clinical neuropsychology.Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois1978
- Patients with hippocampal amnesia cannot imagine new experiences.Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2007; 104: 1726-1731
- Autobiographical memory in advanced multiple sclerosis: assessment of episodic and personal semantic memory across three time spans.J Neuropsychol Int Soc. 2002; 8: 855-860
- L'accès au lexique en dénomination d'images: problèmes actuels.in: Manning L. Neuropsychologie cognitive clinique. Revue Française de psychologie. 47. 2002: 77-91
- Rating neurological impairment in multiple sclerosis: an Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS).Neurology. 1983; 33: 1444-1452
- Aging and autobiographical memory: dissociating episodic from semantic retrieval.Psychol Aging. 2002; 17: 677-689
- Impairment of episodic and semantic autobiographical memory in patients with mild cognitive impairment and early Alzheimer's disease.Neuropsychologia. 2009; 47: 2464-2469
- The role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in retrieval from long term memory depends on strategies: a repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation study.Neuroscience. 2010; 166: 501-507
- Recommended diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis: guidelines from the International Panel on the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.Ann Neurol. 2001; 50: 121-127
- Autobiographical memory in semantic dementia: implications for theories of limbic–neocortical interaction in remote memory.Neuropsychologia. 2006; 44: 2421-2429
- A new depression scale designed to be sensitive to change.Br J Psychiatry. 1979; 134: 382-389
- Remote episodic memory and retrograde amnesia: was Endel Tulving right all along?.in: Tulving E. Memory, consciousness, and the brain: the Tallinn Conference. Psychology Press, New York, NY, US2000: 331-345
- Similar autobiographical memory impairment in long-term secondary progressive multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.Mult Scler. 2013; 19: 225-232
- Le test de copie d'une figure complexe.Arch Psychol. 1944; 30: 206-356
- Autobiographical memory in multiple sclerosis.J Neuropsychol Int Soc. 1997; 3: 246-251
- Cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis: I. Frequency, patterns, and prediction.Neurology. 1991; 41: 685-691
- Medial temporal lobe damage causes deficits in episodic memory and episodic future thinking not attributable to deficits in narrative construction.J Neurosci. 2011; 31: 10262-10269
- Factor structure of overall autobiographical memory usage: the directive, self and social functions revisited.Memory. 2011; 19: 597-605
- Advanced progressive matrices, set 1. Manual.H. K. Lewis, London1958
- L'examen clinique en neuropsychologie.PUF, Paris1964
- L'examen psychologique dans les cas d'encéphalopathie traumatique.Arch Psychol. 1941; 28: 286-340
- Cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis: evidence-based analysis and recommendations.J Clin Neurosci. 2007; 14: 919-927
- The future of memory: remembering, imaging, and the brain.Neuron. 2012; 76: 677-694
- Specific impairments of planning.Phil Trans R Soc Lond Biol. 1982; 298: 199-209
- The involvement of the frontal lobes in cognitive estimation.Cortex. 1978; 14: 294-303
- A compendium of neuropsychological tests: administration, norms, and commentary.3rd ed. Oxford University Press, NY2006
- Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions.J Exp Psychol. 1935; 18: 643-662
- Mental time travel and the evolution of the human mind.Genet Soc Gen Psychol Monogr. 1997; 123: 133-167
- The evolution of foresight: what is mental time travel and is it unique to humans?.Behav Brain Sci. 2007; 30: 299-313
- The frontal lobes and autobiographical memory: differential effects of dorsolateral and ventrolateral prefrontal damage.J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2002; 8: 275
- The functional neuroanatomy of autobiographical memory: a meta-analysis.Neuropsychologia. 2006; 44: 2189-2208
- Neural substrates of envisioning the future.Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2007; 104: 642-647
- Episodic future thought: an emerging concept.Perspect Psychol Sci. 2010; 5: 142-162
- Memories of the future: new insights into the adaptive value of episodic memory.Front Behav Neurosci. 2013; 7: 47
- Multiple sclerosis: an immune or a neurodegenerative disorder?.Annu Rev Neurosci. 2008; 31: 247-269
- Memory and consciousness.Can Psychol. 1985; 26: 1-12
- Priming of semantic autobiographical knowledge: a case study of retrograde amnesia.Brain Cogn. 1988; 8: 3-20
- The Visual Object and Space Perception Battery (VOSP).Suffolk UK Thames Valley Test Company, 1991
- Manual for the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale — third edition (WAIS-III).The Psychological Corporation, San Antonio, TX1997
- The specificity of autobiographical memory and imaginability of the future.Mem Cogn. 1996; 24: 116-125
Published online: July 10, 2014
Accepted: July 2, 2014
Received in revised form: June 30, 2014
Received: March 22, 2014
© 2014 Elsevier B.V. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.