It turns out that daydreaming may not be a bad thing after all. We recently wrote about how mind wandering could be good to solve problems and bring up new ideas; now, researchers in the US maintain that inward attention may play an important role in the children’s development.
They studied the ‘default mode’ of the brain, which is activated with mind wandering. They found that this default mode is related to socioemotional well-being and has an impact in the way we learn and look at the world.
‘We focus on the outside world in education and don’t look much at inwardly focused reflective skills and attentions, but inward focus impacts the way we build memories, make meaning and transfer that learning into new contexts,’ says Immordino-Yang, lead author of the study. ‘What are we doing in schools to support kids turning inward?’
The study, titled ‘Rest Is Not Idleness’, emphasize the importance of keeping ‘a balance between outward and inward attention,’ says Immordino-Yang. ‘Since time spent mind wandering, reflecting and imagining may also improve the quality of outward attention that kids can sustain.’
Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Joanna A. Christodoulou, & Vanessa Singh (2012). Rest Is Not Idleness: Implications of the Brain’s Default Mode for Human Development and Education Perspectives on Psychological Science DOI: 10.1177/1745691612447308
Six Steps in Self-development