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双语靠谱科学:爱走神的孩子更聪明

The results appear to confirm previous research that found working memory allows humans to juggle multiple thoughts。  Children whose minds wander might have sharper brains, research suggests。
  A study has found that people who appear to be constantly distracted have more “working memory”, giving them the ability to hold a lot of information in their heads and manipulate it mentally。
  Children at school need this type of memory on a daily basis for a variety of tasks, such as following teachers’ instructions or remembering dictated sentences。
  During the study, volunteers were asked to perform one of two simple tasks during which researchers checked to ask if the participants’ minds were wandering。
  At the end, participants measured their working memory capacity by their ability to remember a series of letters interspersed with simple maths questions。
  Daniel Levinson, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States, said that those with higher working memory capacity reported “more mind wandering during these simple tasks”, but their performance did not suffer。
  The results, published online in the journal Psychological Science, appear to confirm previous research that found working memory allows humans to juggle multiple thoughts simultaneously。
  Dr Jonathan Smallwood, of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science in Leipzig, Germany, said: “What this study seems to suggest is that, when circumstances for the task aren’t very difficult, people who have additional working memory resources deploy them to think about things other than what they’re doing。”
  Working memory capacity is also associated with general measures of intelligence, such as reading comprehension and IQ scores, and also offers a window into the widespread, but not well understood, realm of internally driven thoughts。
  Dr Smallwood added: “Our results suggest the sorts of planning that people do quite often in daily life — when they are on the bus, when they are cycling to work, when they are in the shower — are probably supported by working memory。
  “Their brains are trying to allocate resources to the most pressing problems。”
  研究显示,那些爱走神的孩子也许脑子更灵活。
  一项研究发现,那些似乎老走神的人拥有更多“工作记忆”,让他们能在大脑中储存许多信息,并能在大脑中对其进行操纵。
  学校中的孩子每日需要这类记忆来完成各种任务,例如遵从老师的教导,或记住听写的句子。
  在研究过程中,研究人员让志愿者执行两个简单任务的其中之一,并在执行过程中不时询问参与者是否在走神。
  最后,参与者用自己对穿插着简单数学题的一连串字母的记忆力来测算自己的工作记忆容量。
  美国威斯康星大学的心理学家丹尼尔?雷文森说,报告显示,那些工作记忆容量更大的人“在执行这些简单任务时更常走神”,不过他们的成绩并没有受影响。
  这一研究结果似乎证实了先前的研究发现,即工作记忆让人类能够同时思考多样事情。《心理科学》杂志在网上发布了这一研究结果。
  德国莱比锡马克斯?普朗克人类认知和大脑科学研究所的乔纳森?斯默伍德博士说:“这项研究似乎表明,当完成任务的环境不是很困难时,有多余工作记忆容量的人会运用这部分容量来思考所执行的任务以外的其他事情。”
  工作记忆容量还和阅读理解和智商得分等智力衡量通用方法相关,并为我们了解内部驱动的思想王国开启了一扇窗。尽管大脑人人都有,但是我们对它的理解却很不够。
  斯默伍德博士补充说:“我们的结果显示,人们经常在日常生活中——在巴士上、在骑车上班时,或在淋浴时——构思的种种计划很可能就是工作记忆支持的。
  “他们的大脑试图把资源分配到最紧迫的问题上。”
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