For an absent-minded teacher like myself, this is very encouraging news. To think that we could be smarter, regardless of whether we know what day it is or recall what our passwords are, is surprising to say the least:
Is your child absent-minded? You should feel happy, for a new study says that it may well be a sign that the kid is intelligent. Researchers have found that children who have wandering minds actually have sharper brains — in fact, those who are constantly distracted are able to hold far more information than their diligent peers.
The study has shown that those who appear to be constantly distracted have more “working memory”, giving them the ability to do two things at the same time, the Daily Mail reported.
Those who appear to be constantly distracted have more “working memory”.
Participants in the study had to either press a button in response to the appearance of a certain letter on a screen, or tap in time with their breath. The researchers checked periodically to ask if their minds were wandering.
At the end, they measured the participants’ working memory capacity, giving them a score for their ability to remember a series of letters interspersed with easy maths questions.
Daniel Levinson of University of Wisconsin-Madison, who led the study, said those with higher working memory capacity reported “more mind wandering during these simple tasks” even though their performance was not compromised.
The results are the first to show the association with mind wandering and intelligence. It is thought the extra mental workspace is used, for instance, when adding up two spoken numbers without being able to write them down. Its capacity has been associated with general measures of intelligence, such as reading comprehension and IQ score.
I could sit here and show-off about these findings but I’m too busy trying to find my darn car keys …. again!