Neuroscientists have figured out how to induce daydreaming according to a paper just published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. For the skeptic (with their head already in the clouds), inducing daydreaming seems completely unnecessary. And since daydreaming can occupy up to half our waking lives, it seems even more pointless.
But these scientists didn’t use use all this time and money to invent something useless. Daydreaming is pretty valuable – it’s been proved to help us plan for the future, solve personal problems, make decisions, be more creative, and even learn new things, like how to calculate the area of circles.
Motherboard explained the study saying, “In an effort to better understand where in the brain that day-dreaming takes place, and whether it’s something that could be induced by outside forces, researchers from Bar Ilan University and University College London had to get some people good and bored.
So, they sat 47 test subjects down, and had them perform the old “Sustained Attention to Response Task” (SART). It goes like this: Hit the spacebar on this keyboard every time a number that appears on the screen isn’t a three, for 40 minutes, while occasionally asking them “so, whatcha thinkin’ about?”
As the subjects tapped away, the researchers found they could enhance mind-wandering by electrically stimulating the prefrontal cortex region of the brain. So, not only did this affirm to the researchers that daydreaming could be induced externally, it told them at least partially where daydreaming starts.”