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Between a Mindful and a Wandering Brain: Time Has Come to Mindwanderfulness

In this course, Prof. Óscar F. Gonçalves, Ph.D., (University of Minho) presents much recent research to support the notion of mindwanderfulness: that is, systematically switching between the focused attention of mindfulness and the free-floating state of mind-wandering.

About this course

In this course, Dr. Óscar F. Gonçalves (full Professor at University of Minho and senior research associate at the Neuromodulation Center at Harvard Medical School) promotes the notion of and several clinical strategies for facilitating mindwanderfulness. Mind-wandering (MW), understood as the flow of stimulus-independent and task-unrelated thoughts, has experienced increased attention in psychology and neuroscience research. The ubiquity of MW suggests that wandering thoughts may accomplish important adaptive functions. Dr. Gonçalves notes that MW should better be defined as the process by which the mind decentres from the current task and stimulus conditions, freely moving towards multiple space, time and/or mind positions. The process of perceptual decoupling and mental improvising with this triple de-centration (time, space, mind) facilitates shifting from an orientation to current physical reality (i.e., intuitive/folk physics) to psychosocial mode (i.e., intuitive/folk psychology). Finally, Dr. Gonçalves suggests that in order to respond adaptively to the demands of physical and psychosocial domains, individuals can gain advantage in adopting a Mindwanderfulness position – a process of strategically switching between mindfulness and mind-wandering. Several clinical strategies for facilitating Mindwanderfulness are presented.
Duration 1 hour
Format video
Type specialised
Price Included with Membership
Writer / Presenter Óscar F. Gonçalves

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