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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Why Our Minds Wander at Times

Why Our Minds Wander at Times
I recently came across a study arguing that the part of the brain underlying working memory plays a significant role in behaviors such as day-dreaming. In other words, our minds wander when the full computational power of the brain is not fully needed for the completion of a task. 

Our minds wander when the brain is not fully used to handle a current task
As such, it makes sense that many employees who have mentally-boring or repetitive jobs spend most of their days day-dreaming. It also stands to reason that working memory is involved in this behavior, since it has been linked to people's IQ scores and reading comprehension.

One of the most important tasks the working memory is entrusted with is juggling multiple thoughts simultaneously. In electronic devices, this is called multi-tasking, or running several mental processes in parallel. This type of memory also enables us to recall data from all these processes instantly.

“What this study seems to suggest is that, when circumstances for the task aren’t very difficult, people who have additional working memory resources deploy them to think about things other than what they’re doing,” PsychCentral quotes researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as saying.

Why Our Minds Wander at Times

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