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  The persistence of thought: Evidence for a role of working memory in the maintenance of task-unrelated thinking

Levinson, D. B., Smallwood, J., & Davidson, R. J. (2012). The persistence of thought: Evidence for a role of working memory in the maintenance of task-unrelated thinking. Psychological Science, 23(4), 375-380. doi:10.1177/0956797611431465.

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 Creators:
Levinson, Daniel B.1, 2, Author
Smallwood, Jonathan3, Author           
Davidson, Richard J.1, 2, Author
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1Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, University of Wisconsin–Madison, ou_persistent22              
2Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin–Madison, ou_persistent22              
3Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634552              

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Free keywords: Attention; Cognition; Cognitive ability; Divided attention; Individual differences
 Abstract: Tasks that tax working memory (WM) have consistently been found to decrease mind wandering. These findings may indicate that maintenance of mind wandering requires WM resources, such that mind wandering cannot persist when WM resources are being consumed by a task. An alternative explanation for these findings, however, is that mind wandering persists without the support of WM but is nonetheless decreased during any demanding task because good task performance requires that attention be restricted from task-unrelated thought (TUT). The present study tested these two competing theories by investigating whether individuals with greater WM resources mind-wander more during an undemanding task, as would be predicted only by the theory that WM supports TUT. We found that individuals with higher WM capacity reported more TUT in undemanding tasks, which suggests that WM enables the maintenance of mind wandering.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2011-01-112012-03-142012-04
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1177/0956797611431465
PMID: 22421205
PMC: PMC3328662
Other: Epub 2012
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Title: Psychological Science
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Malden, MA : Blackwell Publishers
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 23 (4) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 375 - 380 Identifier: ISSN: 0956-7976
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/974392592005