Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Daydreaming: Neuroscientist calls it key to creativity, unimaginative boss still calls it loafing

What luck! While others gab around the water cooler, we use our brains better by loafing in the office wondering why the sky is blue (but not bothering to look it up). Daydreaming is actually a useful activity, says neuroscientist Kalina Christoff of the University of British Columbia:
According to Christoff, there are two major networks in the brain: the executive network, involved in problem-solving, reasoning, and “goal-directed deliberate thinking” and the default network, which becomes activated when you’re not doing anything in particular. While only one of the two networks is generally activated at any given time, the study found that when subjects daydreamed or mind-wandered, both networks were activated at the same time.
In theory, that should offer different ways of thinking about a problem.

But if the boss is not sold on this, we must learn to look furiously busy while daydreaming.

CBC's Bob McDonald has a great interview with her on the Saturday science show, Quirks and Quarks (but you must scroll down to find it).


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