Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (11-12):34-52 (2018)

Anand Abraham
University of Chicago
Daydreaming, or the seemingly aimless and inadvertent roaming of the mind, is a common experience that each of us undergoes several times a day during our waking lives. This fascinating phenomenon, which has been described as being akin to a 'private theatre', is typically considered an altered state in relation to human consciousness as well as a central operation within the playground of the human imagination. This paper provides a selective overview of the types and functions of daydreaming as well as reflections on daydreaming as an altered state of consciousness and daydreaming as a facet of the imagination. In doing so, attention is drawn towards critical factors to consider when interpreting findings from the purview of each of these perspectives of study which points to the necessity to question implicit assumptions that are in place about this core human propensity.
Keywords daydreaming   default mode network   internal mentation   mind wandering   mind-wandering  neuroscience   phenomenology   philosophy   psychology   resting state   self generated thought     spontaneous cognition   stimulus-independent thought   task-unrelated thought
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