Brain study suggests mind wandering at work and home may not be as bad as you might think
A new study from the Georgia Institute of Technology suggests that daydreaming during meetings isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It might be a sign that you’re really smart and creative.
People with efficient brains may have too much brain capacity to stop their minds from wandering. Researchers measured the brain patterns of more than 100 people while they lay in an MRI machine. Participants were instructed to focus on a stationary fixation point for five minutes. The Georgia Tech team used the data to identify which parts of the brain worked in unison.
Interestingly, research has suggested that these same brain patterns measured during these states are related to different cognitive abilities.
Once they figured out how the brain works together at rest, the team compared the data with tests the participants that measured their intellectual and creative ability. Participants also filled out a questionnaire about how much their mind wandered in daily life.
Those who reported more frequent daydreaming scored higher on intellectual and creative ability and had more efficient brain systems measured in the MRI machine.
How can you tell if your brain is efficient? One clue is that you can zone in and out of conversations or tasks when appropriate, then naturally tune back in without missing important points or steps.