The Wandering Mind: What the Brain Does When You’re Not Looking

(Published in the U.S. by The University of Chicago Press)

While psychologists write bestsellers about humans’ smarter side—language, cognition, consciousness—and self-help gurus harangue us to be attentive and mindful, we all know that much of the time our minds are just goofing off. So what does the brain do when you’re not looking?

Rooted in neuroscience, psychology, and evolutionary biology but written with Michael Corballis’ signature wit and wisdom, The Wandering Mind takes us into the world of the ‘default-mode network’ to tackle the big questions. What do rats dream about? What’s with our fiction addiction? Is the hippocampus where free will takes a holiday? And does mind-wandering drive creativity?

In Pieces of Mind, Michael took 21 short walks around the human brain. In The Wandering Mind he stretches out for a longer hike into those murky regions of the brain where dreams and religion, fiction, and fantasy lurk.

The Wandering Mind has been translated into Estonian, Italian, Mandarin, and Japanese.