A world of pure imagination
What do you do when you’re waiting for the bus? Do you stare at your phone, trawling your Instagram feed whilst obsessively refreshing your emails?
The fear of being bored is real – it even has a name: thaasophobia. And here lies the problem, says neuroscientist Muireann Irish. Contrary to what you might think, daydreaming is not a waste of time but a sophisticated neural process – linked to enhanced problem-solving, productivity and creativity. And it’s also a luxury we take for granted, with research demonstrating that patients with dementia lose the ability to daydream.
Join Muireann as she discusses the value of letting your mind go off on a different course.
Muireann Irish originally planned to study medicine but thought the better of it when she remembered she was extremely squeamish. She instead decided to pursue psychology, fascinated by the brain’s capacity to recall the past and to imagine the future.
Her choice to study memory and dementia was motivated by seeing the devastating effects of dementia through her grandmother. Muireann hopes to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia through her research into the neurocognitive architecture of memory. She’s also a passionate advocate for increasing women’s participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and has received numerous accolades for her work including the L’Oréal-UNESCO International Rising Talent Award.