Broadly, the Mind at Large Lab is interested in identifying methods with which to optimize human cognitive processing. For example, we are conducting research examining the possibility that the ubiquitous experience of mind wandering can, at times, serve beneficial functions (e.g., that it can facilitate creativity, the generation of “ah ha” moments, and aid in problem-solving). We are also interested in how we might leverage hypnagogic states to promote creativity, well-being, and, more generally, to allow people to increase productivity/functioning in their daily lives.
Our research combines behavioral experiments in the lab and in the field. We are particularly interested in conducting ecologically valid studies so that we can more directly apply our research findings to real-world situations. Our group draws on approaches from psychology, economics, biology, sociology, and philosophy, and our lab culture aims to advance our understanding of ways to enhance human potential by fostering open discussion and debate, and by rewarding originality and vision.