WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Daydreaming seems to be the default setting of the human mind and certain brain regions are devoted to it, U.S. researchers reported Friday.
When people are given a specific task to do, they focus on that task but then other brain regions get busy during down time, the researchers report in Friday's issue of the journal Science.
"There is this network of regions that always seems to be active when you don't give people something to do," psychologist Malia Mason of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital said in a telephone interview.
When Mason asked people what was happening during this down time, the answer was clear.
"It's daydreaming," she said. "But I find that the vast majority of time, people aren't having fanciful thoughts. People are thinking about what they have to do later today."
"In the absence of a task that requires deliberative processing, the mind generally tends to wander, flitting from one thought to the next with fluidity and ease," the researchers wrote. (even more article goodness)
When I have something I absolutely need to get done I personally have an easier time focusing on said task if I give my brain a little wandering time first.
I think that was at least the longest title I've ever used.