If someone complains to you about your daydreaming just tell them you are thinking harder than they are.
A new University of British Columbia study finds that our brains are much more active when we daydream than previously thought.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that activity in numerous brain regions increases when our minds wander. It also finds that brain areas associated with complex problem-solving – previously thought to go dormant when we daydream – are in fact highly active during these episodes.
"Mind wandering is typically associated with negative things like laziness or inattentiveness," says lead author, Prof. Kalina Christoff, UBC Dept. of Psychology. "But this study shows our brains are very active when we daydream – much more active than when we focus on routine tasks."
People who just do routine tasks are a bunch of mental slackers. Is it the daydreamers who are operating their "executive network". Tell anyone who complains about your daydreaming that you are going your lateral medial prefrontal cortex and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex a heavy work-out.
Until now, the brain's "default network" – which is linked to easy, routine mental activity and includes the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC), the posterior cingulate cortex and the temporoparietal junction – was the only part of the brain thought to be active when our minds wander.
However, the study finds that the brain's "executive network" – associated with high-level, complex problem-solving and including the lateral PFC and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex – also becomes activated when we daydream.
I feel so vindicated. Those grade school teachers who complained about my daydreaming were trying to hold back my intellectual development and turn me into a mental slacker. But I persevered against their resistance and did mental gymnastics in spite of them.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2009 May 11 10:02 PM Brain Performance|