Wandering minds in sleep and wakefulness: attention, consciousness, self

This project aims to develop a theory of mind-wandering. A large portion of our conscious lives is spent mind-wandering: attention periodically drifts away from current tasks, often without our noticing. This challenges the assumption that healthy adults are normally aware of and able to control their thought processes. This project will use cognitive neuroscience, sleep and dream research, and philosophy of mind to develop a theory of mind-wandering across the sleep-wake cycle and an interdisciplinary methodology for its investigation. The anticipated outcome is a better understanding of spontaneous thought and its relationship to attention, consciousness and the self. This potentially throws new light on important issues relating to mental health and sleep disorders.

Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

Jennifer Windt
Philosophy; School of Philosophical, Historical & International Studies; Focus Program Belief, Value, Mind