By a systematic analysis of the current literature on the neural correlates of mind wandering, that is, the default network (DN), and by shedding light on some determinative factors and conditions which affect the relationship between mind wandering and negative mood, we show that (1) mind wandering per se does not necessarily have a positive correlation with negative mood and, on the higher levels, depression. We propose that negative mood as a consequence of mind wandering generally depends on two determinative conditions, that is, whether mind wandering is with or without meta-awareness and whether mind wandering occurs during high or low vigilance states; (2) increased activity of the DN is not necessarily followed by an increase in unhappiness and depression. We argue that while in some kinds of meditation practices we witness an increase in the structure and in the activity of the DN, no increase in unhappiness and depression is observed.
Cognitive, Affective, & Behaviorial Neuroscience – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 7, 2017
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