Neuroscience of a Wandering Mind: Neural Basis, Changes in Neurodegeneration and a Role of Mindfulness


ŠUMEC Rastislav SHEARDOVÁ Kateřina DORJEE Dusana LOŠÁK Jan BAREŠ Martin HORT Jakub

Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference International conference MINDfulness 2018
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Keywords default mode; mind-wandering; mindfulness; network; neurodegeneration
Description Average mind wanders half of a daily life, often engaging in mental activities seemingly unrelated to events happening in the present moment. This spontaneous phenomenon, with its underlying complex neural activity, seems to be a central aspect of normal neurocognitive functioning. Disrupted integrity of brain regions involved in mind-wandering, observed in neurodegeneration, can have catastrophic consequences for spontaneous task-unrelated cognition. Mindfulness-based interventions, reported to 14 influence mind-wandering (MW) as well as neural regions underlying it, might provide promising intervention strategies targeting these disrupted mechanisms in certain clinical populations. The present paper discusses neural basis of MW, it's disruption in neurodegenerative process and relevant evidence on the impact of mindfulness in this context. Building on this theoretical basis, the paper outlines neuroepidemiological research project assessing empirically the intersecting processes of MW in neurodegenerative process and their modulation by mindfulness.

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