Laureate of an MSCA IF grant, David Stawarczyk wished to carry out his research under the direction of Arnaud D'Argembeau within the PsyNCog Research Unit of ULiège, in order to better understand mental wandering in certain everyday events..


ind-wandering is the occurrence of thoughts that are decoupled from immediate perceptual inputs and unrelated to the activity at hand such as thinking about leisure activities while listening to a lecture. Mind-wandering represents a substantial part of our daily thinking time and it has negative effects on reading, memory, and the ability to focus attention. At the same time, mind-wandering can enhance creativity, patience, and affords opportunities to plan for the future. However, most of what we currently know about mind-wandering comes from artificial laboratory tasks that do not reflect the richness of daily life events. A limited body of research using experience sampling gives a coarse-grained characterization of mind-wandering in real-life situations, but this approach cannot measure the detailed behavioral structure of mind-wandering, or its neural correlates, to reveal underlying mechanisms. To overcome this barrier, this project made in collaboration with the laboratory of Prof. Jeffrey M. Zacks at Washington University in St. Louis (Mo, USA) will leverage new advances in methods to study naturalistic event comprehension in the laboratory. We will adopt a multi-method approach that will combine (i) validated event cognition tasks that involve the viewing of movies of naturalistic everyday activities with (ii) state-of-the-art techniques to measure the behavioral, physiological, and neural correlates of mind-wandering including eye-tracking technology and functional magnetic resonance imaging. The aims of this project are to provide the foundations for a detailed account of mind-wandering in naturalistic settings, laying the basis for future interventions aimed at helping individuals to capitalize on the benefits of mind-wandering in their daily life while minimizing the associated costs.

More info on MSCA grants ?

RISE (Recherche, Innovation, Support and Enterprises)


Share this page