The Wandering Mind: What the Brain Does When You’re Not Looking

Michael C. Corballis

Format: Paperback, Ebook
Pages: 184
Published: May 2014
ISBN: 9781869408114
$34.99

Available in Ebook

'The brain is never inactive, the mind never still. For at least half of our lives, our minds are wandering away from the chores of life — the homework, the tax return, the board meeting, the meal to be cooked, even driving the car . . . In this book, I wander through the various hills and valleys of mind-wandering, with the hope of giving it a better name.' 

While psychologists write bestsellers about humans' smarter side - language, cognition, consciousness - and self-help gurus harangue us to be attentive and mindful, we all know that much of the time our minds are just goofing off. So what does the brain do when you're not looking? Rooted in neuroscience, psychology and evolutionary biology but written with Corballis' signature wit and wisdom, The Wandering Mind takes us into the world of the 'default-mode network' to tackle the big questions. What do rats dream about? What's with our fiction addiction? Is the hippocampus where free will takes a holiday? And does mind-wandering drive creativity? In Pieces of Mind, Michael Corballis took 21 short walks around the human brain. In The Wandering Mind he stretches out for a longer hike into those murky regions of the brain where dreams and religion, fiction and fantasy lurk.

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Reviews

From [Corballis's] perspective, wandering attention is necessary and even beneficial for humankind, in spite of the disapproval of authority figures for countless generations. - Scott McLemee

...the implications for mind wandering that Corballis teases out are illuminating. - Luna Centifanti, Times Higher Education

Does your mind wander? Sometimes I doubt whether mine will ever come home. What does the brain do while our mind is wandering? This well-written and engaging book introduces the reader to the research to explore what actually happens in the regions of the brain where dreams, religion, fiction, fantasy, but also creativity and imagination, lurk. - Gordon Findlay, Booksellers NZ