Author Archives: themindwanders

Constraining the wandering mind: the role of control processes in deliberate mind-wandering

One of the puzzles associated with spontaneous thought is its association with control. Although studies suggest that we spend our time engaged in spontaneous thought [1], often thinking about issues that are likely important to us (such as our hopes … Continue reading

Distant memories: Why the default mode network is important during states of internal focus

Since the early 2000’s work in cognitive neuroscience has highlighted a constellation of neural regions that are suppressed when engaging in external tasks as the hypothetical neural substrate for the mind-wandering state [1]. This neural system is anchored on the medial … Continue reading

Monitoring the mind: clues for a link between meta cognition and self generated thought

It is a relatively common experience to lose track of what one is doing: We may stop following what someone is saying during conversation, enter a room and realise we have forgotten why we came in, or lose the thread … Continue reading

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Emotional wandering: considering the complex relationship between self-generated thought and happiness

One question that has come to the forefront of research on mind-wandering is its relation to happiness. In a high profile article in the journal Science in 2010, Killingsworth and Gilbert published a paper suggesting that periods of mind-wandering where … Continue reading

Not all minds that wander are lost

One of the most interesting aspects of mind wandering is that it has documented links to both beneficial and costly aspects of psychological functioning. For example we are all probably familiar with the experience of trying to read a book … Continue reading

The Good, the Bad and the Wandering Mind

The scientific investigation of self-generated thought is enigmatic: we all intuitively grasp the experience because of our familiarity with mind-wandering and daydreaming and  yet we often have problems incorporating this process into the pantheon of psychology or neuroscience.  On the … Continue reading

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Productive daydreaming

Perceptually decoupled thought is linked to creativity and delaying gratification. In a couple of papers published over the last few months my co-authors and I have demonstrated that the capacity to disengage attention from an easy task is associated with … Continue reading

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