Author Archives: themindwanders

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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The persistence of thought: evidence for a role of working memory in the maintenance of the daydreaming state

Understanding the process by which the mind generates and sustain the mental content when the mind wanders is one of the most important questions in understanding the phenomena. One view on how this process occurs is that the experiences are … Continue reading

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Escaping the here and now: future thinking as self projection during the mind wandering state

One observation from the last decade in both cognitive science and neuroscience is that prospection (the ability to think about the future) is important for humans because it allows the mind to prepare for events that may occur in the … Continue reading