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Not all minds that wander are lost: A neurocognitive test of mind-wandering state’s contribution to human cognition.

Descrizione del progetto

La mente errante: meccanismi neurali del pensiero creativo e della sua regolazione

La creatività spesso nasce dalla mancanza di vincoli, come quelli insiti in compiti altamente programmati e pianificati che richiedono schemi di pensiero specifici senza la libertà di lasciare vagare la mente. Il ruolo cognitivo del vagabondaggio mentale è un tema di ricerca emergente che ha portato a un intenso dibattito, data la mancanza di paradigmi scientifici rigorosi con cui valutarlo. Il progetto WANDERINGMINDS, finanziato dal Consiglio europeo della ricerca, utilizzerà nuovi metodi di campionamento dell’esperienza basati sulla risonanza magnetica funzionale per analizzare i meccanismi neurali di una mente errante e la loro gestione. I risultati evidenzieranno come il vagabondaggio mentale contribuisca al pensiero creativo e innovativo e come possa essere regolato.

Obiettivo

Experience does not always arise from the events in the immediate environment; research has shown that states such as mind-wandering occupy almost half of our waking thought. Although mind-wandering has gained a foothold in cognitive science, our understanding of this core form of cognition is piecemeal and disjointed, making it a regular topic of theoretical debates in high-profile journals (e.g. Science and Psychological Bulletin). I have argued that these controversies are due to the lack of a coherent framework in which to explore mind-wandering’s role in cognition. In particular, a key problem is overcoming simple views that propose that mind wandering is merely a state that leads to errors, or unhappiness; accounts that persist in the face of evidence that it contributes foresight and originality to human thought.
This project will allow me to assemble a team of researchers and develop an account of how mind-wandering contributes to creative and novel thinking and how it can be regulated to prevent interference with ongoing action. We will explore the experiential categories of the state using novel experience-sampling methods I have developed and explore its neural basis using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Using these measures, we will: (i) identify the neural correlates of different categories of mind-wandering experiences, (ii) use these metrics to explore the mechanisms that underlie the creative properties of thinking during mind-wandering, (iii) identify how this creative mode of thought is managed so as not to disrupt important goals in the here and now (such as learning) and (iv) explore these processes in the context of both controlled laboratory studies and longitudinally in the real world by assessing their beneficial role in academic performance. This project will redefine our understanding of mind-wandering as a vital and dynamic element of the mental lives of every member of our species.

Meccanismo di finanziamento

ERC-COG - Consolidator Grant

Istituzione ospitante

UNIVERSITY OF YORK
Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 1 800 000,00
Indirizzo
HESLINGTON
YO10 5DD York North Yorkshire
Regno Unito

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Regione
Yorkshire and the Humber North Yorkshire York
Tipo di attività
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Collegamenti
Costo totale
€ 1 800 000,00

Beneficiari (1)