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Emotional Mental Imagery as Simulation of Reality: Fear and Beyond-A Tribute to Peter Lang
MRC, Cognit & Brain Sci Unit, 15 Chaucer Rd, Cambridge, England.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1688-9708
Univ Oxford, Oxford OX1 2JD, England;Univ Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, W Midlands, England.
Univ Western Australia, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia;Univ Babes Bolyai, R-3400 Cluj Napoca, Romania.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2407-7339
MRC, Cognit & Brain Sci Unit, 15 Chaucer Rd, Cambridge, England;Karolinska Inst, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7319-3112
2016 (English)In: Behavior Therapy, ISSN 0005-7894, E-ISSN 1878-1888, Vol. 47, no 5, p. 702-719Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article pays tribute to the seminal paper by Peter J. Lang (1977; this journal), "Imagery in Therapy: Information Processing Analysis of Fear." We review research and clinical practice developments in the past five decades with reference to key insights from Lang's theory and experimental work on emotional mental imagery. First, we summarize and recontextualize Lang's bio-informational theory of emotional mental imagery (1977, 1979) within contemporary theoretical developments on the function of mental imagery. Second, Lang's proposal that mental imagery can evoke emotional responses is evaluated by reviewing empirical evidence that mental imagery has a powerful impact on negative as well as positive emotions at neurophysiological and subjective levels. Third, we review contemporary cognitive and behavioral therapeutic practices that use mental imagery, and consider points of extension and departure from Lang's original investigation of mental imagery in fear-extinction behavior change. Fourth, Lang's experimental work on emotional imagery is revisited in light of contemporary research on emotional psychopathology-linked individual differences in mental imagery. Finally, key insights from Lang's experiments on training emotional response during imagery are discussed in relation to how specific techniques may be harnessed to enhance adaptive emotional mental imagery training in future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER INC , 2016. Vol. 47, no 5, p. 702-719
Keywords [en]
mental imagery, visual imagery, emotion, cognitive therapy, behavior therapy
National Category
Applied Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-405165DOI: 10.1016/j.beth.2015.11.004ISI: 000388065600013PubMedID: 27816082OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-405165DiVA, id: diva2:1396851
Available from: 2020-02-26 Created: 2020-02-26 Last updated: 2020-02-27Bibliographically approved

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Holmes, Emily A.

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