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The restless mind.
Evidence suggests that mind wandering shares many similarities with traditional notions of executive control, and can be seen as a goal-driven process, albeit one that is not directed toward the primary task. Expand
Experience sampling during fMRI reveals default network and executive system contributions to mind wandering
An fMRI study that used experience sampling to provide an online measure of mind wandering during a concurrent task revealed a number of crucial aspects of the neural recruitment associated with mind wandering, highlighting the value of combining subjective self-reports with online measures of brain function for advancing the understanding of the neurophenomenology of subjective experience. Expand
The science of mind wandering: empirically navigating the stream of consciousness.
Examination of the information-processing demands of the mind-wandering state suggests that it involves perceptual decoupling to escape the constraints of the moment, its content arises from episodic and affective processes, and its regulation relies on executive control. Expand
Situating the default-mode network along a principal gradient of macroscale cortical organization
An overarching organization of large-scale connectivity that situates the default-mode network at the opposite end of a spectrum from primary sensory and motor regions is described, suggesting that the role of the DMN in cognition might arise from its position at one extreme of a hierarchy, allowing it to process transmodal information that is unrelated to immediate sensory input. Expand
The default network and self‐generated thought: component processes, dynamic control, and clinical relevance
Evidence is presented that self‐generated thought is a multifaceted construct whose component processes are supported by different subsystems within the network, and clinical implications of disruptions to the integrity of the network are discussed. Expand
Meta-awareness, perceptual decoupling and the wandering mind
These basic aspects of mind wandering are considered with respect to the activity of the default network, the role of executive processes, the contributions of meta-awareness and the functionality of mind wander. Expand
Subjective experience and the attentional lapse: Task engagement and disengagement during sustained attention
The results suggest the authors can dissociate between two components of subjective experience during sustained attention: task unrelated thought which corresponds to an absent minded disengagement from the task and a pre-occupation with one's task performance that seems to be best conceptualised as a strategic attempt to deploy attentional resources in response to a perception of environmental demands which exceed ones ability to perform the task. Expand
Inspired by Distraction
Assessing whether performance on validated creativity problems can be facilitated by engaging in either a demanding task or an undemanding task that maximizes mind wandering suggested that engaging in simple external tasks that allow the mind to wander may facilitate creative problem solving. Expand
Distinguishing how from why the mind wanders: a process-occurrence framework for self-generated mental activity.
  • J. Smallwood
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Psychological bulletin
  • 1 May 2013
It is suggested that identifying the moment that self-generated mental events begin is a necessary next step in moving toward a testable account of why the mind has evolved to neglect the present in favor of ruminations on the past or imaginary musings of what may yet come to pass. Expand
Back to the future: Autobiographical planning and the functionality of mind-wandering
The hypothesis that one potential function of spontaneous thought is to plan and anticipate personally relevant future goals, a process referred to as autobiographical planning is explored, which suggests that mind-wandering can enable prospective cognitive operations that are likely to be useful to the individual as they navigate through their daily lives. Expand