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Ever find yourself thinking about other things when you really should be working on that assignment in front of you? As it turns out, when a person engages in mind wandering, a certain region of the brain that is actually associated with memory, long term planning, etc. activates. Scientists used electrodes to stimulate that region of the brain called the dlPFC and found that mind wandering in fact increased. As a bonus, task performance level did not drop. Perhaps then, the dlPFC wants us to mind wander. But why? It could promote creativity and problem solving or simply provide a benign distraction that makes repetitive tasks more tolerable. I'm sure we can all feel better about ourselves now.
Contributed by Lucy Zhang