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Wandering Brains Are Keener

from The Telegraph UK

Children whose minds wander ‘have sharper brains’

The discovery is particularly significant as the prefrontal cortex is an area of the brain said to be key to what makes us humanThe results appear to confirm previous research that found working memory allows humans to juggle multiple thoughts simultaneously Photo: CORBIS

A study has found that people who appear to be constantly distracted have more “working memory”, giving them the ability to hold a lot of information in their heads and manipulate it mentally.

Children at school need this type of memory on a daily basis for a variety of tasks, such as following teachers’ instructions or remembering dictated sentences.

During the study, volunteers were asked to perform one of two simple tasks during which researchers checked to ask if the participants’ minds were wandering.

At the end, participants measured their working memory capacity by their ability to remember a series of letters interspersed with simple maths questions.

Daniel Levinson, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States, said that those with higher working memory capacity reported “more mind wandering during these simple tasks”, but their performance did not suffer.

[ click to continue reading at The Telegraph ]

Posted on March 17, 2012 by Editor

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