Daydreaming Is Good for the MindNews Flash Monday, March 19th, 2012
(LiveScience) Catch yourself daydreaming while washing the dishes again? If this happens often you probably have a pretty capable working memory, new research suggests.
This mind wandering, it seems, actually gives your working memory a workout. Working memory is the mental work space that allows the brain to juggle multiple thoughts simultaneously. The more working memory a person has, the more daydreaming they can do without forgetting the task at hand.
“Our results suggest that the sorts of planning that people do quite often in daily life — when they’re on the bus, when they’re cycling to work, when they’re in the shower — are probably supported by working memory,” study researcher Jonathan Smallwood, of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science, said in a statement. “Their brains are trying to allocate resources to the most pressing problems.”
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