COUNCIL CHRONICLE – A Georgia Institute of Technology study concluded that there might be a link between daydreaming, a person’s tendency of doing so, and their creativity and intelligence levels.
The research team states that their results serve to show, among others, that having a wandering mind is not a bad thing, as some might perceive it to be.
Daydreaming Equals Having an Efficient Mind?
This close-group study analyzed the brain patterns of 112 participants. These only had to lay in an fMRI machine and stare at a fixed point for around five minutes. They did not have to do anything in particular while doing this.
This is the so-called resting state scan, and the data collected was used to try and establish what part of the participants’ brain worked in a default mode network. Namely, it looked to find out which parts of their brain worked in unison.
The participants also had to fill in questionnaires about their daydreaming habits. They also completed tests that looked at creativity, fluid intelligence levels, and the executive function.
The study team established several correlations based on this set of information. For example, participants that self-reported having higher daydreaming tendencies presented higher rates of default mode connectivity. They also presented a higher control rate between the brain’s frontoparietal control network and the default network mode.
Participants who daydreamed more also returned better results on their creativity and fluid intelligence tests, when compared to non-daydreaming participants.
“People with efficient brains may have too much brain capacity to stop their minds from wandering,” states Eric Schumacher, the Georgia Tech co-author of the study.
Despite this being a small scale study, the research team considers that it could help “open-up the door” for follow-up studies. These could help establish when the brain’s habit of daydreaming is helpful, or when it might actually be harmful.
Christine Goodwin, the Georgia Tech co-author of the research, does point out that “There are important individual differences to consider as well, such as a person’s motivation or intent to stay focused on a particular task.”
Detailed research results were presented in a paper in the journal Neuropsychologia.
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