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Insights from Quiet Minds: The Converging Fields of Mindfulness and Mind-Wandering

  • Michael D. MrazekEmail author
  • Benjamin W. Mooneyham
  • Jonathan W. Schooler
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Neuroscience, Consciousness and Spirituality book series (SNCS, volume 2)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Functional Connectivity Default Mode Network Work Memory Capacity Mindfulness Training Mindfulness Practice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

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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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael D. Mrazek
    • 1
    Email author
  • Benjamin W. Mooneyham
    • 1
  • Jonathan W. Schooler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA

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