Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Interesting: Wandering minds may be sharper

Children whose minds wander 'have sharper brains' has a fun conclusion:

A study has found that people who appear to be constantly distracted have more “working memory”, giving them the ability to hold a lot of information in their heads and manipulate it mentally.

Hat-tip: my brother-in-law


C T said...

I dislike that we are taught that people aren't paying attention to a speaker unless they are looking steadfastly at him or her. Personally, I find that my mind wanders all over the place if I try to do that. I have to either doodle, read along with text, or look at the floor/fingernails/etc. to stay mentally with the speaker, or I'm long gone on another train of thought. But that looks like inattention and even rudeness in our culture. Which is better? The appearance of paying attention while thinking of other things or the appearance of not paying attention while actually absorbing what's being said?

Henry Cate said...

My guess is the meme that only people who are focused on the speaker are the ones paying attention starts with public schools. Teachers feel, and probably with some justification, students who are not looking at the teacher are not paying attention.