(CBS Local) — For people who think daydreamers are unfocused and maybe even less intelligent, a new study says you’ve got them all wrong. Researchers at Georgia Tech claim that people whose thoughts wander during the day are not only smarter, but more creative too.
“People tend to think of mind wandering as something that is bad. You try to pay attention and you can’t. Our data are consistent with the idea that this isn’t always true. Some people have more efficient brains,” psychology professor Eric Schumacher said in the school’s news release. “People with efficient brains may have too much brain capacity to stop their minds from wandering.”
The Georgia Tech study scanned the brain waves of over 100 people who were all asked to focus their thoughts on a specific topic during the five-minute MRI. The team was looking to see how separate regions of the brain worked together during the tests; the mark of an efficient mind. According to the findings, people who noted that they frequently daydreamed were found to have brains that worked much more efficiently than others. They scored higher for activity in both the intellectual and creative areas of the brain.
The team adds that the best way to measure a highly-efficient brain is by looking at the ability to exit and re-enter a conversation or project without missing a beat. “While it may take five minutes for their friends to learn something new, they figure it out in a minute, then check out and start daydreaming,” Schumacher concludes.