The dictionary meaning of the word default suggests a failure to act or inaction. But in the contemporary world, the expression’ default mode’ means the absence of any particular specifications, instead embedded in the system’s standard or frequently used functions.

Let us move to another related expression, “default mode network’,” relating to our cognitive processes or brain functioning of realizing something that suddenly pops into our thinking.

The question I’m raising is how an unrelated thought to the present or a memory suddenly enters our heads that we did not ask for it or attempt to recall it.

For example, I’m sitting on a park bench, enjoying flowers, birds, kids playing, etc., but suddenly a thought enters my head that does not connect with what involves me at that moment.

Why does our mind go off from the immediate things that occupy us, especially when we are “doing nothing” or relaxed, like me sitting in the park? Neither, I’m not contemplating any severe or thoughtful issue or topic.

In that situation, the brain wanders around and then hits some memory that pops up.

The brain never stops working. It wanders and delivers thoughts or memories if we do not engage it with some specific issue. The wandering of the brain happens in the region called the “default mode network.”

By nature, we are all set in the “default mode network” processed in the brain. Un-invited or unrelated thoughts, pleasant or unpleasant but unavoidable, can be treated like passing clouds that I also observe sitting in the park.

-Promod Puri

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