Daydreaming could mean you are really smart and creative, says a new study conducted by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
To make the determination, the researchers measured the brain patterns of more than 100 people while they lay in an MRI machine.
The participants were instructed to focus on a stationary fixation point for five minutes, after which the researchers used the data to identify which parts of the brain worked in unison.
After identifying which part of the brain works together at rest, the team compared the data with tests that measured the intellectual and creative ability of the participants. They 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.
Christine Godwin, lead co-author, said: “The correlated brain regions gave us insight about which areas of the brain work together during an awake, resting state.
“Interestingly, research has suggested that these same brain patterns measured during these states are related to different cognitive abilities.”
Eric Schumacher, an associate psychology professor who co-authored the study, said: “People with efficient brains may have too much brain capacity to stop their minds from wandering.
“People tend to think of mind wandering as something that is bad. You try to pay attention and you can’t. Our data are consistent with the idea that this isn’t always true. Some people have more efficient brains.”
Schumacher says higher efficiency means more capacity to think, adding that: “Our findings remind me of the absent-minded professor — someone who’s brilliant, but off in his or her own world, sometimes oblivious to their own surroundings.
“Or school children who are too intellectually advanced for their classes. While it may take five minutes for their friends to learn something new, they figure it out in a minute, then check out and start daydreaming.”
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