Insights from Quiet Minds: The Converging Fields of Mindfulness and Mind-Wandering
Our lives are filled with an endless array of perceptions, thoughts, and feelings, and our attention usually darts back and forth between them. Yet meditative traditions have long valued the capacity to remain undistracted from our immediate experience, and countless individuals make a practice of stabilizing their awareness in the here and now. What are the implications of anchoring our usually restless minds? Could stabilizing our attention provide an informative lens into the dynamics of the human brain? Here we review recent research that situates mindfulness as an opposing construct to mind-wandering and a remedy for wandering minds. We then review empirical intersections between mindfulness and mind-wandering from recent neuroimaging studies.
KeywordsFunctional Connectivity Default Mode Network Work Memory Capacity Mindfulness Training Mindfulness Practice
MDM and JWS are supported through United States Department of Education grant R305A110277 awarded to JWS. BWM is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under grant No. DGE-1144085. The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U. S. Government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.
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