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Trends Cogn Sci. 2016 Aug;20(8):605-617. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2016.05.010. Epub 2016 Jun 16.

Mind-Wandering With and Without Intention.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology and Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA. Electronic address: paulseli@fas.harvard.edu.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada.
3
Department of Psychology and Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Abstract

The past decade has seen a surge of research examining mind-wandering, but most of this research has not considered the potential importance of distinguishing between intentional and unintentional mind-wandering. However, a recent series of papers have demonstrated that mind-wandering reported in empirical investigations frequently occurs with and without intention, and, more crucially, that intentional and unintentional mind-wandering are dissociable. This emerging literature suggests that, to increase clarity in the literature, there is a need to reconsider the bulk of the mind-wandering literature with an eye toward deconvolving these two different cognitive experiences. In this review we highlight recent trends in investigations of the intentionality of mind-wandering, and we outline a novel theoretical framework regarding the mechanisms underlying intentional and unintentional mind-wandering.

KEYWORDS:

deliberate; intentional; intentionality; mind-wandering; spontaneous; unintentional

PMID:
27318437
PMCID:
PMC5004739
DOI:
10.1016/j.tics.2016.05.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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