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Latest Mind-wandering Stories

Wandering Mind Linked To Telomere Length
2012-11-18 07:59:31

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online While previous research has suggested that individuals with wandering minds could be exhibiting signs of unhappiness, a new study shows that the inability to focus on a task at hand could be linked to aging. In the new study, scientists from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) discovered that telomere length, a biological measure of aging at both the cellular and overall physiological level, played a role on whether...

'Off Topic' Thinking Linked To High Working Memory Capacity
2012-03-18 05:49:03

Having a mind that wanders and drifts off into thoughts unrelated to the task at hand might not be such a bad thing after all, according to a new study published online by the journal Psychology Science last Wednesday. In fact, according to PsychCentral Senior News Editor Rick Nauert, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science have discovered that this phenomenon is actually associated with working memory capacity,...

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2010-11-12 08:30:00

People spend nearly half their waking hours thinking about what isn't going on around them People spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they're doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy. So says a study that used an iPhone web app to gather 250,000 data points on subjects' thoughts, feelings, and actions as they went about their lives. The research, by psychologists Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert of Harvard...

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2009-12-08 07:35:31

A new University of Pittsburgh study reveals that craving a cigarette while performing a cognitive task not only increases the chances of a person's mind wandering, but also makes that person less likely to notice when his or her mind has wandered. The paper, titled "Out for a Smoke: The Impact of Cigarette Craving on Zoning Out During Reading," provides the first evidence that craving disrupts an individual's meta-awareness, the ability to periodically appraise one's own thoughts. The...

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2009-05-06 08:29:46

Research published in this month's "Psychological Science" is first to demonstrate this A new study out of the University of Pittsburgh suggests that a moderate dose of alcohol increases a person's mind wandering, while at the same time reducing the likelihood of noticing that one's mind has wandered. The paper, titled "Lost in the Sauce: The Effects of Alcohol on Mind Wandering," explores this phenomenon and is published in this month's issue of "Psychological Science." The study provides...

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2009-02-27 14:37:04

Although doodling in class while listening to the teacher may be perceived as a mind-wandering activity, researchers have reported evidence that suggests the activity may actually help the human mind retain information. Researchers from Plymouth University conducted memory tests on 40 members of the research panel of the Medical Research Council's Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. The test asked participants to listen to a two and a half minute phone call and recall the eight...

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2007-03-19 13:15:00

NEW YORK -- Researchers are studying a pervasive psychological phenomenon in which oh man we've got to finish doing the taxes this weekend ... C'mon, admit it. Your train of thought has derailed like that many times. It's just mind-wandering. We all do it, and surprisingly often, whether we're struggling to avoid it or not. Mainstream psychology hasn't paid much attention to this common mental habit. But a spate of new studies is chipping away at its mysteries and scientists say the topic is...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'