The restless mind.

  title={The restless mind.},
  author={Jonathan Smallwood and Jonathan W. Schooler},
  journal={Psychological bulletin},
  volume={132 6},
This article reviews the hypothesis that mind wandering can be integrated into executive models of attention. Evidence suggests that mind wandering shares many similarities with traditional notions of executive control. When mind wandering occurs, the executive components of attention appear to shift away from the primary task, leading to failures in task performance and superficial representations of the external environment. One challenge for incorporating mind wandering into standard… 

Reconceptualizing mind wandering from a switching perspective.

Mind wandering is a universal phenomenon in which our attention shifts away from the task at hand toward task-unrelated thoughts. Despite it inherently involving a shift in mental set, little is

Can the mind wander intentionally?

Mind wandering is typically operationalized as task-unrelated thought. Some argue for the need to distinguish between unintentional and intentional mind wandering, where an agent voluntarily shifts

Differential recruitment of executive resources during mind wandering

A Wandering Mind Cannot Resolve Conflicts in Displayed Information

Human minds often wander around while performing a task. When the mind wanders, attention drifts away from task-relevant perceptual information, leading to deteriorated performance on the task at

Why does the mind wander?

The proposal is that mind wandering is a form of non-conscious guidance due to cognitive control that initiates a search for a new, more rewarding goal when the agent’s current goal is deemed insufficiently rewarding.

Mind Wandering: Mechanism, Function, and Intervention

Mind wandering is an important part of the stream of consciousness, which allows the stream of consciousness to continue when the individual does not process external stimuli or does tasks. The

What Mind Wandering Reveals About Executive-Control Abilities and Failures

People’s minds sometimes wander from ongoing activities. Although these experiences can be pleasant and useful, they are often unintentional and precipitate mistakes. In this article, we adopt an

Mind-Wandering With and Without Intention

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.



Why the mind wanders

The mind wanders. Ideally, it does not wander so far that it forgets it is reading this chapter. But consciousness does have an inevitable drift, changing its contents moment by moment. The focus

Exploring the Central Executive

The central executive component of working memory is a poorly specified and very powerful system that could be criticized as little more than a homunculus. A research strategy is outlined that

Stimulus-independent thought depends on central executive resources

The results suggest that production of SITs depends on central executive resources.

Ironic processes of mental control.

A theory of ironic processes of mental control is proposed to account for the intentional and counterintentional effects that result from efforts at self-control of mental states. The theory holds

Towards a cognitive neuroscience of consciousness: basic evidence and a workspace framework

Introspective physicalism as an approach to the science of consciousness

Re-representing consciousness: dissociations between experience and meta-consciousness

  • J. Schooler
  • Psychology, Biology
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences
  • 2002

Attention and Automaticity in the Processing of Self-Relevant Information

A neglected aspect of the study of social cognition has been the way in which people select information for further processing from the vast amount available in social environments. A major