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Study finds daydreaming may be sign of brilliance

  • DENNIS ODA / 2010

    A beachgoer relaxes in a chair at Ala Moana Beach Park in 2010. Recent headlines have suggested that daydreaming is a sign of brilliance. According to a recent study published in Neuropsychologia, “mind wandering positively correlated with fluid intelligence and creativity.”

Recent headlines have suggested that daydreaming is a sign of brilliance. True, as a young man, Einstein was accused of daydreaming, and according to a recent study published in Neuropsychologia, “mind wandering positively correlated with fluid intelligence and creativity.”

But really, how many daydreamers are Einsteins, Mozarts or even one of The Monkees?

So let’s back up a few steps and figure out “Oh, what can it mean?”

The study points out that if your child can’t seem to keep his or her mind on something for an extended period of time, it may not stem from an attention deficit problem and in “certain instances … mind wandering may not be inherently harmful.”

That’s why it’s important to have a trained professional make an evaluation.

It’s possible that daydreaming is a sign your child isn’t getting the stimulation he or she needs to stay involved in learning. Discovering what level of instruction in school will engage a child can transform his or her future. The National Association for Gifted Children can guide you toward testing at nagc.org.

Evaluation may reveal that your child has ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and that’s also info you want. Left undiagnosed and untreated, ADHD can cause intellectual, social and emotional problems that persist for a lifetime. Find an evaluation professional through Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder at chadd.org.

So stop monkeying around and discover if your daydreamer is the next Einstein, just bored or has ADHD. Finding out and treating the situation appropriately will make you say “I’m a Believer.”


Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Email questions to youdocsdaily@sharecare.com.


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