Consciousness and Cognition 22 (1):1-7 (2013)

Abstract
The capacity to self-generate mental content that is unrelated to the current environment is a fundamental characteristic of the mind, and the current experiment explored how this experience is related to the decisions that people make in daily life. We examined how task-unrelated thought varies with the length of time participants are willing to wait for an economic reward, as measured using an inter-temporal discounting task. When participants performed a task requiring minimal attention, the greater the amount of time spent engaged in TUT the longer the individual was prepared to wait for an economic reward. These data indicate that self-generated thought engages processes associated with the successful management of long-term goals. Although immersion in the here and now is undeniably advantageous, under appropriate conditions the capacity to let go of the present and consider more pertinent personal goals may have its own rewards
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2012.10.007
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Self-Projection and the Brain.Randy L. Buckner & Daniel C. Carroll - 2007 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 11 (2):49-57.

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