A group of scientists from the Cambridge University in the UK has recently discovered that away from being only the ‘background activity’, it may be necessary to adapt the ‘default mode network’ from the daydreaming to perform tasks much more efficiently on autopilot.
The scientists have found that people are capable of switching to autopilot, just once after they become familiar with the given task, like riding on the familiar route. It is also expected that these findings can even help people for their mental illness.
The previous study had discovered that the DMN gets more active in the phase of rest. Therefore it may behave weird in the conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Still, the research remains unclear for it exact role.
Researcher followed 28 participants to conduct this study. The team asked them to reach the similarity with the target card, like three of clubs, when two of four cards known. Then they needed to work out on it, if those cards matched with the color, shape and number of the target card through the error and trial. However, the brain activity of those participants was monitored during their task performance with the help of scanner.
A former student, Deniz Vatansever from the University of Cambridge stated that, “Rather than waiting passively for things to happen to us, we are constantly trying to predict the environment around us. Our evidence suggests it is the default mode network that enables us to do this. It is essentially like an autopilot that helps us make fast decisions when we know what the rules of the environment are.”