Are mobiles not letting our minds wander far enough?

We’ve all heard that mobiles are keeping us from working-but are they actually keeping us from zoning out? Nick Bilton has an interesting New York Times blog post about how mobiles are limiting the essential human capacity to daydream: 

Jonah Lehrer, a neuroscientist and the author of the soon-to-be-released book, “Imagine: How Creativity Works,” […] discussed an area of the brain scientists call “the default network” that was active only when the rest of the brain was inactive – in other words, when we were daydreaming.

Letting the mind wander activates the default network, he said, and allows our brains to solve problems that most likely can’t be solved during a game of Angry Birds.

Other potential risks he identifies are the loss of boredom, which is integral to imagination, and forgetfulness (think timelines), which impinges upon the “brains’ purging process.” So next time you’re thinking of firing up Angry Birds on the subway, consider daydreaming instead.

Yannick LeJacq

[via The New York Times]