More visual mind wandering occurrence during visual task performance: Modality of the concurrent task affects how the mind wanders

Hee Sun Choi, Michael Geden, Jing Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mind wandering has been considered as a mental process that is either independent from the concurrent task or regulated like a secondary task. These accounts predict that the form of mind wandering (i.e., images or words) should be either unaffected by or different from the modality form (i.e., visual or auditory) of the concurrent task. Findings from this study challenge these accounts. We measured the rate and the form of mind wandering in three task conditions: fixation, visual 2-back, and auditory 2-back. Contrary to the general expectation, we found that mind wandering was more likely in the same form as the task. This result can be interpreted in light of recent findings on overlapping brain activations during internally- and externally-oriented processes. Our result highlights the importance to consider the unique interplay between the internal and external mental processes and to measure mind wandering as a multifaceted rather than a unitary construct.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0189667
JournalPloS one
Volume12
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2017

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