Absent-minded children have sharper brains: study

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.

hidden March 18, 2012 16:06:26 IST
Absent-minded children have sharper brains: study

London: 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.

Absentminded children have sharper brains study

Those who appear to be constantly distracted have more "working memory". Reuters

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.

The latest study, published in the Psychological Science journal, underscores how important working memory is in allowing the brain to focus on the most pressing issues.

PTI

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