Creativity and the Wandering Mind

Creativity and the Wandering Mind

Spontaneous and Controlled Cognition

1st Edition - June 19, 2020

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  • Editors: David Preiss, Diego Cosmelli, James Kaufman
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128164006
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128166147

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Creativity and the Wandering Mind: Spontaneous and Controlled Cognition summarizes research on the impact of mind wandering and cognitive control on creativity, including imagination, fantasy and play. Most coverage in this area has either focused on the negative consequences of mind wandering on focused problem solving or the positive effect of mindfulness, but not on the positive consequences of mind wandering. This volume bridges that gap. Research indicates that most people experience mind wandering during a large percentage of their waking time, and that it is a baseline default mode of brain function during the awake but resting state. This volume explores the different kinds of mind wandering and its positive impact on imagination, play, problem-solving, and creative production.

Key Features

  • Discusses spontaneous and controlled processes in creativity
  • Examines the relationship between mind wandering, consciousness, and imagination
  • Reviews research on problem-solving, imagination, play, and learning
  • Highlights the positive impact of mind wandering on creative thought and output


Researchers in cognitive, educational, and personality psychology

Table of Contents

  • Section I Spontaneous and controlled processes in creativity

    1. Mind wandering: framework of a lexicon and musings on creativity
    Paul Joseph Barnett and James C. Kaufman

    2. Autonomy and control across cognition: insights from creativity, memory, mind wandering, and reasoning research
    Nathaniel Barr, Roger Beaty and Paul Seli

    3. Capturing the dynamics of creative daydreaming
    Claire M. Zedelius and Jonathan W. Schooler

    4. The relationships between abstraction and creativity
    Massimiliano Palmiero

    Section II Mind wandering, consciousness, and imagination

    5. Imagination and mind wandering: two sides of the same coin? A brain dynamics perspective
    Mario Villena-Gonza´lez and Diego Cosmelli

    6. Altered states of consciousness and creativity
    Luisa Prochazkova and Bernhard Hommel

    7. Creating the “stuff of experience”: spontaneous thoughts, memory, and hypnosis in clinical and forensic contexts
    Steven Jay Lynn, Craig Polizzi, Vladimir Miskovic and Damla Aksen

    Section II Imagination, play, and learning

    8. Relations between imagination and creativity
    Jacqueline D. Woolley, Louise Bunce and Elizabeth A. Boerger

    9. Pretend play in young children and the emergence of creativity
    David Whitebread and Lisha O’Sullivan

    10. Mind wandering, fantasy, and pretend play: a natural combination
    Sandra W. Russ

    11. Exploring the connection between imagination and creativity in academic learning
    Ronald A. Beghetto and Kathy L. Schuh

    12. Productive mind wandering in design practice
    Charles Dobson and Kalina Christoff

    13. Poetry, meaning making, and mind wandering
    David D. Preiss

    Section V Conclusion

    14. Fragments from a notebook on novelty and constraint
    Patrick Colm Hogan

Product details

  • No. of pages: 366
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2020
  • Published: June 19, 2020
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128164006
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128166147

About the Editors

David Preiss

David D. Preiss, PhD, is Director and Associate Professor at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile School of Psychology. He is co-editor of 3 books on educational psychology and related topics, author of more than 40 papers and book chapters on writing, creativity, and instructional processes and recipient of several grants from diverse Chilean research agencies to investigate instructional processes as well as individual differences in creativity and writing. As a poet he has published 5 books of poetry.

Affiliations and Expertise

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

Diego Cosmelli

Diego Cosmelli is a Biochemist and holds a PhD in Cognitive Sciences from the École Polytechnique, France. He is Associate Professor at the School of Psychology of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where he is the Vice-director for Research and Graduate Studies and head of the Psychophysiology Lab. His research interests focus on the mechanisms of attentional and perceptual processes in human beings. He has published over 30 articles in peer reviewed journals including Psychophysiology, NeuroImage, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience and PLoS ONE, among others.

Affiliations and Expertise

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

James Kaufman

James C. Kaufman is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut. He is the author/editor of more than 45 books and 300 papers, which include theoretical contributions such as the Four-C Model of Creativity (with Ron Beghetto) and empirical work, such as the study that spawned the “Sylvia Plath Effect. He is a past president of Division 10 (Society for Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, & the Arts) of the American Psychological Association (APA). James has won many awards, including Mensa’s research award, the Torrance Award from the National Association for Gifted Children, and APA’s Berlyne, Arnheim, and Farnsworth awards. He co-founded two major journals (Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts and Psychology of Popular Media Culture). He has tested Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s creativity on CNN, appeared in the hit Australian show Redesign Your Brain, narrated the comic book documentary Independents, and is set to appear in a 2021 Netflix documentary. He wrote the book and lyrics to Discovering Magenta, which had its NYC premiere in 2015, and co-authored a book on bad baseball pitchers with his father.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Education Psychology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA

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