The Benefits Of A Wandering Mind
Daydreaming may not be so bad, a recent research study concludes.
Daydreamers rejoice, for now, research shows how doing nothing but daydreaming improves our focus and generally, makes us smarter. Author Jonah Lehrer writes how the study conducted by Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli and John Gabrieli of MIT suggests that an active idle state of mind activates long-range neural connections in the brain that are linked with high performance in IQ tests and better thought process and intelligence.
In the latest edition of Mind Matters, Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli and John Gabrieli of MIT outline some interesting new research on the link between resting state activity – the performance of the brain when it’s lying still in a brain scanner, doing nothing but daydreaming – and general intelligence. It turns out that cultivating an active idle mind, or teaching yourself how to daydream effectively, might actually encourage the sort of long-range neural connections that make us smart. At the very least, it’s time we stop discouraging kids from staring out the classroom window, because mind wandering isn’t a waste of time.