“We Spend So Much Time ‘Living in Our Own Minds’”
Utilizing EEG technology, researchers captured distinct neurophysiological signatures of four different thought patterns. In turn, when this unique activity lights up in different parts of the brain, it can signal whether our minds are focused, fixated, or wandering, the team says. The research offers an unprecedented look into humans’ train of thought, suggesting it may be possible to manipulate this cognitive process to foster creativity or relaxation. “We spend so much time ‘living in our own minds,’ whether it be reminiscing our past, planning for the future, or contemplating equality and diversity,” study co-author Julia Kam tells Inverse. Kam is a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Calgary. “This flow of thoughts that we engage in on a daily basis is fascinating and yet it has been largely unexplored.” Kam and her team’s latest research sheds light on the function of daydreaming, proving the purposeless process has real value.