04 Mar
Dementia Takes Away the Ability to Daydream Dementia Takes Away the Ability to Daydream

Dementia Takes Away the Ability to Daydream

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Researchers from The University of Sydney have discovered that people living with frontotemporal dementia, a younger-onset form of the malady, do not possess the capacity to daydream. This work could lead to new and expanded understanding of changes in behavior associated with dementia -- providing caregivers, researchers, and family members with help in managing the disease.

The majority of healthy people permit their minds to daydream or wander roughly half of the time they spend awake. In the process, people can think about the past, anticipate the future, and also empathize about the behavior of others. Daydreaming has also been linked to acts of creativity, behavioral and emotional regulation, and problem-solving.

The Sydney study indicated that people with frontotemporal dementia tended to focus more and more on their external surroundings while also letting go of the power to let the mind wander, even while living through times of monotony or boredom.

In a press release, Muireann Irish, from the Brain and Mind Centre and School of Psychology at the University of Sydney, said, "They are unable to visualise alternatives, to think of solutions to problems, or to deviate from their everyday routines. In previous work, we have shown that their ability to remember the past and to imagine the future is severely compromised. Simply put, these individuals are stuck in the moment.”

The study involved 35 people with frontotemporal dementia and 24 people with Alzheimer's disease. 37 healthy individuals also participated. Each subject was asked to look at two-dimensional, static geometric shapes that appeared one by one on a computer screen. They were then immediately asked to provide information on thoughts that came up while looking at the colored shapes.

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Read 1788 times Last modified on Thursday, 21 February 2019 02:40
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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