Where do spontaneous thoughts come from? It may be surprising that the seemingly straightforward answers "from the mind" or "from the brain" are in fact an incredibly recent understanding of the origins of spontaneous thought. For nearly all of human history, our thoughts - especially the most sudden, insightful, and important - were almost universally ascribed to divine or other external sources. Only in the past few centuries have we truly taken responsibility for their own mental content, and finally localized thought to the central nervous system - laying the foundations for a protoscience of spontaneous thought. But enormous questions still loom: what, exactly, is spontaneous thought? Why does our brain engage in spontaneous forms of thinking, and when is this most likely to occur? And perhaps the question most interesting and accessible from a scientific perspective: how does the brain generate and evaluate its own spontaneous creations?
Spontaneous thought includes our daytime fantasies and mind-wandering; the flashes of insight and inspiration familiar to the artist, scientist, and inventor; and the nighttime visions we call dreams.
This Handbook brings together views from neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, phenomenology, history, education, contemplative traditions, and clinical practice to begin to address the ubiquitous but poorly understood mental phenomena that we collectively call 'spontaneous thought.'
In studying such an abstruse and seemingly impractical subject, we should remember that our capacity for spontaneity, originality, and creativity defines us as a species - and as individuals. Spontaneous forms of thought enable us to transcend not only the here and now of perceptual experience, but also the bonds of our deliberately-controlled and goal-directed cognition; they allow the space for us to be other than who we are, and for our minds to think beyond the limitations of our current viewpoints and beliefs.
weitere Ausgaben werden ermittelt
Kieran C.R. Fox studied neuroscience, philosophy, and world religions during his undergraduate degree at McGill University. He used functional neuroimaging to study the cognitive neuroscience of meditation and spontaneous thought during his Masters and PhD at the University of British Columbia, working with Dr. Kalina Christoff. Currently, he is using intracranial electroencephalography to pursue these lines of research in the Department of Neurology at Stanford University, working with Dr. Josef Parvizi.
Kalina Christoff is a Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her work focuses on understanding human thought, using a combination of functional neuroimaging (fMRI), behavioral testing, and theoretical work.
About the Editors
Part I: Introduction and Overview
1. Introduction: Toward an Interdisciplinary Science of Spontaneous Thought
Kieran C. R. Fox and Kalina Christoff
Part II: Theoretical Perspectives
2. Why the Mind Wanders: How Spontaneous Thought's Default Variability May Support Episodic Efficiency and Semantic Optimization
Caitlin Mills, Arianne Herrera-Bennett, Myrthe Faber, and Kalina Christoff
3. An Exploration/Exploitation Tradeoff Between Mind-Wandering and Goal-Directed Thinking
Chandra S. Sripada
4. When the Absence of Reasoning Breeds Meaning: Metacognitive Appraisals of Spontaneous Thought
Carey K. Morewedge and Daniella M. Kupor
5. The Mind Wanders with Ease: Low Motivational Intensity is an Essential Quality of Mind-Wandering
Dylan Stan and Kalina Christoff
6. How does the brain's spontaneous activity generate our thoughts? The spatiotemporal theory of task-unrelated thought (STTT)
7. Investigating the elements of thought: Towards a component process account of spontaneous Cognition
Jonathan Smallwood, Daniel Margulies, Boris C. Bernhardt, and Elizabeth Jeffries
Part III: Philosophical, Evolutionary, and Historical Perspectives
8. The Philosophy of Mind-Wandering
Zachary C. Irving and Evan Thompson
9. Why is mind wandering interesting for philosophers?
10. Spontaneity in Evolution, Learning, Creativity, and Free Will: Spontaneous Variation in Four Selectionist Phenomena
Dean Keith Simonton
11. How Does the Waking and Sleeping Brain Produce Spontaneous Thought and Imagery, and Why?
John S. Antrobus
12. Spontaneous Thinking in Creative Lives: Building Connections Between Science and History
Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
Part IV: Mind-Wandering and Daydreaming
13. Functional neuroanatomy of spontaneous thought
Jessica R. Andrews-Hanna, Zachary C. Irving, Kieran C. R. Fox, R. Nathan Spreng, and Kalina Christoff
14. Neural Origins of Self-Generated Cognition: Insights from Intracranial Electrical Stimulation and Recordings in Humans
Kieran C. R. Fox
15. Mind-wandering and self-referential thought
16. Phenomenological Properites of Mind-Wandering and Daydreaming: A Historical Overview and Functional Correlates
17. Spontaneous thought and goal pursuit: From functions such as planning to dysfunctions such as rumination
Eric Klinger, Ernst H. W. Koster, and Igor Marchetti
18. Unraveling What's On Our Minds: How Different Types of Mind-Wandering Affect Cognition and Behavior
Claire M. Zedelius and Jonathan W. Schooler
19. Mind-wandering and events in the external world: Electrophysiological evidence for attentional Decoupling
Julia W. Y. Kam and Todd C. Handy
20. Mind-wandering in educational settings
Jeffrey D. Wammes, Paul Seli, and Daniel Smilek
Part V: Creativity and Insight
21. Interacting Brain Networks Underlying Creative Cognition and Artistic Performance
Roger E. Beaty and Rex E. Jung
22. Spontaneous and controlled processes in creative cognition
Mathias Benedek and Emanuel Jauk
23. Wandering and Direction in Creative Production
24. Flow as spontaneous thought: Insight and implicit learning
John Vervaeke, Leo Ferraro, and Arianne Herrera-Bennett
25. Internal Orientation in Aesthetic Experience
26. Neuropsychopharmacology of Flexible and Creative Thinking
David Q. Beversdorf
Part VI: Sleep, Dreaming, and Memory
27. Dreaming is an intensified form of mind-wandering, based in augmented portions of the default network
G. William Domhoff
28. Neural Correlates of Self-Generated Imagery and Cognition Throughout the Sleep Cycle
Kieran C. R. Fox and Manesh Girn
29. Spontaneous thought, insight, and control in lucid dreams
Jennifer M. Windt and Ursula Voss
30. Microdream neurophenomenology: A paradigm for dream neuroscience
Tore A. Nielsen
31. Sleep paralysis: Phenomenology, Neurophysiology, and Treatment
32. Dreaming and Waking Thought as a Reflection of Memory Consolidation
Erin J. Wamsley
33. Involuntary Autobiographical Memories: Spontaneous Recollections of the Past
John H. Mace
Part VII: Clinical Contexts, Contemplative Traditions, and Altered States of Consciousness
34. Potential Clinical Benefits and Risks of Spontaneous Thought: Unconstrained Attention as a Way Into and a Way Out of Psychological Disharmony
Dylan Stan and Kalina Christoff
35. Candidate Mechanisms of Spontaneous Cognition as Revealed By Dementia Syndromes
Claire O'Callaghan and Muireann Irish
36. Rumination is a Sticky Form of Spontaneous Thought
Elizabeth DuPre and R. Nathan Spreng
37. Pain and Spontaneous Thought
38. Spontaneous thought in contemplative traditions
39. Catching the Wandering Mind: Meditation as a Window into Spontaneous Thought
40. Spontaneous Mental Experiences in Extreme and Unusual Environments
Peter Suedfeld, A. Dennis Rank, and Marek Malus
41. Cultural neurophenomenology of psychedelic thought: Guiding the "unconstrained" mind through ritual and context
Michael Lifshitz, Eli Sheiner, and Laurence Kirmayer
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