Predictive attention, also called default attention, uses the default mode network.
- A study of the neural correlates of mindful attention and mind-wandering, which was conducted on twenty healthy participants has produced results which support the view that predictive attention uses the default mode network. During the study, these participants were introduced to internal and external attention meditation, which they would practice at home for four consecutive days prior to performing the same attention meditations under fMRI scanning. Upon being asked whether they were focused (exercising mindful attention) or distracted (engaged in mind-wandering), the participants produced responses which indicated the following:
- During focused/mindful attention, regions of the brain associated with the default mode network, such as the left temporoparietal junction, posterior cingulate cortex and the medial prefrontal cortex showed little neural activation.
- Conversely, during mind-wandering/distracted periods, the abovementioned regions of the brain showed significantly more neural activation.
- Additionally, refocusing the mind following a period of distraction/mind-wandering seems to be accompanied by activity in the left inferior frontal gyrus.
- The results of the study back the theory that less activity in the default mode network is associated with focused attention while more activity in the default mode network is associated with predictive or default attention often characterized by distraction.