”20 Killingsworth and Gilbert21 assessed the frequency of spontaneous mental thoughts in everyday life by using cell phones to probe participants at random times. They found that people’s minds wander frequently, and do so during almost all activities. Spontaneous thoughts associated with mind wandering are pervasive in the laboratory and outside
in the real world. These observations Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical lead to an interesting class of ideas: the brain’s default network may be the collection of brain regions that, on average across people and over time, are most active during internal modes of cognition. The network of regions implicated in the default network are functionally22-24 and anatomically (see ref 4) linked to limbic structures including the parahippocampal cortex, suggesting a circuit that has access to mnemonic information. Within this possibility, the default network is proposed to support the construction of internal mental models based on mnemonic (limbic) Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical systems. This simple idea may explain the common observation of increased activity in the default network during passive tasks when the mind is released Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical to wander, as well as during active cognitive tasks when subjects are instructed to remember the past or mentally plan for a hypothetical future
event (Figure 2).9,10,25 Thus, the serendipitous discovery of the default network during passive tasks and the origins of its name as the ”default“ network only partly Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical captures its broad functions, which
may extend to a range of internal modes of cognition. Figure 2. Remembering, thinking about the future, navigation, and theory of mind activate the default network. Images from a meta-analysis of tasks that require individuals to mentally project themselves into an alternative setting.10 Red and yellow represent overlap … An Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical interesting recent twist to the hypothesis that the default network supports certain forms of internally isothipendyl generated thought has proposed a relation to the locus coeruleus/noradrenergic system. As this website mentioned earlier, passive task states are associated with high tonic levels of locus ceoruleus activity. By contrast, focused tasks are associated with moderate tonic levels of locus ceoruleus activity with phasic responses time-locked to components of the task trials. Using measures of pupil diameter, which indirectly reflect locus ceoruleus activity when light responses are controlled, Smallwood and colleagues26 inferred that spontaneous thoughts arise most frequently during high tonic levels of locus ceoruleus activity. This is an interesting observation for two separate reasons.