Health, Zoomer Report
Do you ever find yourself daydreaming when you’re supposed to be doing more important things? According to a new study, letting your mind wander is not a waste of time. It’s a chance for the brain to stop focusing on immediate tasks, and subconsciously resolve life’s crucial problems.
The study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that brain areas associated with complex problem solving, previously thought to go dormant during daydreaming, are in fact highly active.
The study put subjects through a functional MRI for 90 minutes, to examine the metabolic processes of their brains. Reserachers found that two key regions of the brain were active during daydreaming: the so-called “default network,” associated with easy, routine mental activity, and the brain’s “executive network,” associated with high-level, complex problem-solving.
Usually when one network is working, the other isn’t. The scientists say it is rare to see them working in tandem. And apparently, the brain activity was most active when the research subjects weren’t even aware they were daydreaming.
Case in point, the lead investigator insists many of her best research ideas have come to her when she is in the car, daydreaming.