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Insulation for daydreams: A role for tonic norepinephrine in the facilitation of internally guided thought

MPG-Autoren
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Smallwood,  Jonathan
Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Zitation

Smallwood, J., Brown, K. S., Baird, B., Mrazek, M. D., Franklin, M. S., & Schooler, J. W. (2012). Insulation for daydreams: A role for tonic norepinephrine in the facilitation of internally guided thought. PLoS One, 7(4): e33706. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033706.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-83C9-E
Zusammenfassung
Although consciousness can be brought to bear on both perceptual and internally generated information, little is known about how these different cognitive modes are coordinated. Here we show that between-participant variance in thoughts unrelated to the task being performed (known as task unrelated thought, TUT) is associated with longer response times (RT) when target presentation occurs during periods when baseline Pupil Diameter (PD) is increased. As behavioral interference due to high baseline PD can reflect increased tonic activity in the norepinephrine system (NE), these results might implicate high tonic NE activity in the facilitation of TUTs. Based on these findings, it is hypothesised that high tonic mode NE leads to a generalised de-amplification of task relevant information that prioritses internally generated thought and insulates it from the potentially disruptive events taking place in the external environment.