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|Title:||ON THE EBB AND FLOW OF CONSCIOUS THOUGHT: A SERIES OF QUERIES ON THE WANDERING MIND|
|Authors:||Vinski, Melaina Taye|
|Abstract:||The study of the wandering mind offers a unique window into how, why and for whom the dominant control mechanisms within our brain tend to fail (or not to fail). Smallwood (2013) argues that understanding the answers to these particular questions remain the most important in mind wandering research. In the current dissertation, I explored the degree to which the emotional quality of the internal and external world shapes our conscious experience, and the control mechanisms that give us stability in focus in our daily lives. I argue that the vacillation between internal and external processing operates at the nexus of two primary theories: the resource control theory (Thomson et al., in press) and the current concerns theory (Klinger, 1971; 1999; 2009). While the former offers a framework for understanding how the mind may wander, the latter provides a framework to understand why and for whom. The result is the conceptualization of an executive control system that operates to coordinate the activation between various neural networks, which when activated, operate to distribute cognitive resources toward the information most relevant at that moment in time. Driven by the emotional quality of our internal state and contextual cues in our external environment, relevance is determined by our current concerns and most personal of goals. The experiments presented in the current dissertation provide some granularity to this theoretical integration.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Dissertaton - Final Submission.pdf||Melaina Vinski - Dissertation||1.45 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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